Prof Neil McKeown - BSc, PhD, MRSC, CChem
- Polymers of Intrinsic Microporosity (PIMs; e.g. Fig.1).
- Polymer membranes for gas and large molecule separations and for water purification.
- Organic hydrogen-storage materials for clean fuel applications.
- Microporous organic crystals with in-built catalytic sites (e.g. Fig. 2).
- Polymer-based nanomedicines.
Our group uses organic synthetic chemistry to prepare novel materials (e.g. phthalocyanines, dendrimers, porous crystals and polymers) with interesting functionality. For example, we have developed the concept of polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs) which are organic polymers that, due to their highly rigid and contorted structures (Fig. 1), do not pack space efficiently therefore creating interconnected molecular-sized holes (i.e. micropores). Of great interest is the possibility of using these materials to adsorb large quantities of hydrogen and thus solve the "hydrogen storage problem" that threatens the viability of using this clean carbon-free fuel to power cars. Also of interest is the preparation of crystals derived from small organic molecule which are microporous, for example, the remarkable structure shown in Fig. 2 which possesses large solvent-filled voids and in-built catalytic sites for heterogeneous catalysis.
The rigid and contorted molecular structure of a polymer of intrinsic microporosity (PIM-1)The crystal structure of zinc 2,3,9,10,16,17,23,24-octa(2’,6’-di-iso-propylphenoxy)phthalocyanine