Joshua Jortner Distinguished Lectures in Chemistry
Prof. Omar M. Yaghi, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, United States
RETICULAR CHEMISTRY: THE ATOM, THE MOLECULE, THE FRAMEWORK
The year 2016 marked the 100th anniversary of Gilbert N. Lewis conceptual paper concerning the chemical bond. Since that report, the covalent bond occupied a central role in building up organic molecules leading to polymers and pharmaceuticals. With the advent of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and covalent organic frameworks (COFs), the chemistry of the covalent bond was extended to crystalline two- and three-dimensional frameworks. Here, organic and inorganic, as well as just organic molecules are stitched together with covalent bonds to make crystalline, porous frameworks of high architectural and chemical robustness. This opened the way to carrying out chemistry on frameworks (i.e. the development of precision chemistry beyond the molecule). The union of the covalent and the mechanical bond gives way to incorporating flexibility and dynamics into frameworks, and this provides a whole new way of thinking about materials beyond the molecules conceived by Lewis and developed thereafter.