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Trapping virtual pores by crystal retro-engineering

DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2156 DOI Help

Authors: Marc Little (University of Liverpool) , Michael E. Briggs (University of Liverpool) , James T. A. Jones (University of Liverpool) , Marc Schmidtmann (University of Liverpool) , Tom Hasell (University of Liverpool) , Sam Chong (University of Liverpool) , Kim E. Jelfs (Imperial College London) , Linjiang Chen (University of Liverpool) , Andrew I. Cooper (University of Liverpool) , Kim Jelfs (Imperial College London)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Nature Chemistry , VOL 7 , PAGES 153 - 159

State: Published (Approved)
Published: January 2015
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 8728 , 9282

Abstract: Stable guest-free porous molecular crystals are uncommon. By contrast, organic molecular crystals with guest-occupied cavities are frequently observed, but these cavities tend to be unstable and collapse on removal of the guests—this feature has been referred to as ‘virtual porosity’. Here, we show how we have trapped the virtual porosity in an unstable low-density organic molecular crystal by introducing a second molecule that matches the size and shape of the unstable voids. We call this strategy ‘retro-engineering’ because it parallels organic retrosynthetic analysis, and it allows the metastable two-dimensional hexagonal pore structure in an organic solvate to be trapped in a binary cocrystal. Unlike the crystal with virtual porosity, the cocrystal material remains single crystalline and porous after removal of guests by heating.

Subject Areas: Chemistry, Materials


Instruments: I11-High Resolution Powder Diffraction , I19-Small Molecule Single Crystal Diffraction