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Nanoporous Materials Huub van Kuringen, Dick Broer, Albert Schenning. Introduction

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Nanoporous Materials

Huub van Kuringen, Dick Broer, Albert Schenning


The self-organization of liquid crystals is used to create nanoporous materials with well-defined pore sizes in the range of small molecules and ions. Due to the small pore size in these materials discrimination between molecules and ions based on shape and charge is possible, which make them suitable for applications as separation, catalysis and adsorption.

Preparations of nanoporous materials

A mixture of two liquid crystals is used, a hydrogen bridged liquid crystal and a covalently bonded crosslinker. The mesophase of liquid crystals can be locked into a network by photo-polymerization of the acrylate end groups. When this polymeric network is immersed in an alkaline solution the acid groups deprotonate, which results in breakage of the hydrogen bridges and the opening of the nano pores. The crosslinker is present to maintain the network and the length of this crosslinker determines the pore size. The chemical nature of the used liquid crystals will influence the nature of the pore interior. Adsorbents are already made which are size and charge selective.


Depending on your background we can adjust the project towards your interests. You can do organic synthesis to tune the chemistry in the pore. Fabricate porous materials with photo-adjustable pore size.

Improve the material requirements by changing the composition of the material. Apply the current materials on porous support and explore the possibilities to use them as membrane for instance for nanofiltration or (reverse) elektrodialysis (Blue Energy). Besides, you could polymerize 2-dimensional polymers, or porous polymer particle with emulsion polymerization, that will be used as adsorbent.

C.L. Gonzalez, C.W.M. Bastiaansen, J. Lub, J. Loos, K. Lu, H.J. Wondergem, and D.J. Broer, Adv. Mater., 2008, 20, 1246.


Huub van Kuringen ([email protected], STO 0.24, tel. 040-2475434)Albert Schenning ([email protected], STO 0.34, tel. 040-2473264)

/ ST FunctionalOrganic MaterialsandDevices