Research Fellows Directory
Dr Andrew Fogg
University of Liverpool
Materials which have an open framework structure have found numerous applications in a very diverse range of fields including catalysis and separation science. Examples of this type of material include the zeolites which have an enormous number industrial applications which exploit their rigid framework structures by allowing only molecules of a certain size and shape to enter into, form in or leave the pores within the crystals. We have recently prepared the first hydroxide material, Yb3O(OH)6Cl.2H2O, which has a 3D cationic framework structure which contains chloride anions in the pores within the structure. Materials such as this one which have a positively charged inorganic framework structure are incredibly rare and as a result have the scope to be applied in a wide range of different areas. Anion exchange is an important property of hydroxide materials which has been widely exploited in layered materials but this is the first time that it has been observed for a 3D framework hydroxide creating opportunities for size and shape selective uptake of pollutant or impurity anions as a result of the rigid structure which do not exist for layered materials. The selectivity of the framework has been demonstrated by reaction with a range of organic anions which has shown that only those with a linear geometry can be incorporated whist those with branched chains or aromatic (benzene) rings are not removed from solution.
In a separate project we have prepared the anion exchangeable lanthanide hydroxide materials as nanoparticles and have investigated their potential for applications in biology as cell tracking agents. For this application we have shown that the nanoparticles are non-toxic to cells and can be taken up by the cells in large numbers (approximately 200 per cell). This is sufficient for the cells to move under the influence of a magnetic field as the nanoparticles are paramagnetic and it may be possible to follow the cells in the body in future studies.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)