Porous materials research showcased at Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

A team from the University’s Department of Chemistry will showcase some of their research on porous organic cages at the prestigious Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition (SSE) 2017.

The team has been selected as one of 22 exhibitors at the annual display of the most exciting cutting-edge science and technology in the UK and will highlight how Liverpool’s world-leading Advanced Materials research is breaking new ground in the field.

Held in London from Tuesday, 4 July to Sunday, 9 July, the SSE is a free annual event for visitors of all ages and features curated exhibits alongside a series of inspiring talks and activities.

Hands on exhibit

The ‘Molecular Cages: The Hole Story’ exhibit brings to life research around molecular cages, in particular, porous organic cages, which were developed by Prof. Andrew Cooper. These are individual molecules which have an internal, permanent hole, which is accessible through ‘windows’ and can be assembled together into larger, porous 3D structures – a bit like building Lego.

They are made using very simple chemistry but small changes in the way the cages are made can drastically change their properties, and therefore what they can be used for, opening up possibilities for uses such as capturing greenhouse gases or removing harmful contaminants from the air.

The interactive exhibit will explain how these molecular cages work, why these porous materials are so important and their exciting potential uses. Visitors will be able to design their own porous organic cages using a specially created program, colour in intricate images of cages, make their own origami cage, and have the chance to win a 3D printed cage by playing their touchscreen game ‘Nano-Cages’.

Liverpool chemist, Dr Becky Greenaway who is leading the exhibit, said: “We are delighted that Liverpool’s research into molecular cages has been recognised by the Royal Society for its cutting edge technology in the development of new porous organic materials and their variety of potential applications.”

“This exhibition is a perfect opportunity to showcase our work and we hope ` Molecular Cages: The Hole Story’ provides a combination of interaction, fun and learning to provide a valuable and entertaining experience for visitors to learn about the world of molecular cages.”

World leading

The exhibit draws on discoveries made by the University‘s Materials Chemistry research group which leads the design of functional materials. The group is supported by the £68 m Materials Innovation Factory (MIF) which offers state of the art equipment and support to industry and academics alike to advance materials discovery.

In addition, the £10million Leverhulme Centre for Functional Material Design, located in the MIF, brings together chemical knowledge with state-of-the-art computer science to develop a new approach to the design of functional materials at the atomic scale.

You can read updates from the team during their week at the Exhibition on social media by following @TheHoleStoryUoL and #TheHoleStory. Additional information can be found at the website https://theholestory.wixsite.com/theholestory

The exhibit also includes Imperial College London and Manchester Metropolitan University.

The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition takes place from Tuesday, 4 July to Sunday, 9 July 2017.

For more information on SSE, please visit: https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2017/summer-science-exhibition/





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