Global recognition for Glasgow Chemistry advance

Published: 1 August 2008

Glasgow research, which could lead to the development of chemical factories on a nanoscale, is to be published in the prestigious world chemistry journal: ‘Angewandte Chemie’.

Chemistry research at Glasgow, which could lead to the development of chemical factories on a nanoscale, is to feature on the front cover of the prestigious, peer-reviewed world chemistry journal: ‘Angewandte Chemie’.

The paper by University of Glasgow Professor of Chemistry Lee Cronin focuses on a REDOX* active framework material that can 'sense' the guest inside and then undertake selective chemical transformations. The process has implications for green chemistry, developing chemical factories based upon nanoscale pockets, and framework materials that can respond to a stimulus. redox solids

Professor Cronin said: “We have been able to assemble a robust nanoporous framework solid that can switched between two states; in each state the framework can 'sense' and react with nanoscale guests in different ways making this a extremely versatile material. 

“This class of materials has many potential applications from nanoscale sensors, and even the development of a chemical nano-factory that can 'sense' and then build complex molecules using a step-by-step approach within the switchable nano-cavities."

Last year, Professor Cronin won a £70,000 Philip Leverhulme Prize for his internationally recognised work in nano-chemistry and molecular engineering.

Professor Cronin’s work focuses on engineering molecular architectures using self assembly at the sub-nano/nano scale, a scale that is 80,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.

At this scale it is impossible to design objects atom by atom. However, by using directed self assembly (when the object builds itself), scientists can design new materials atom by atom using a chemical mould which transfers the shape of the ‘designed’ mould onto some atomic building blocks.

Full details of the research entitled: ‘Reversible Redox Reactions in an Extended Polyoxometalate Framework Solid’ can be accessed here:


* Redox (shorthand for reduction/oxidation reaction) describes all chemical reactions in which atoms have their oxidation number (oxidation state) changed.

Further information:

Martin Shannon,
Media Relations Officer
Tel: 0141 330 8593

Lee Cronin,
Professor of Chemistry
Tel: 0141 330 6650

First published: 1 August 2008

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