MOFs for energy and the environment Faraday Discussion

23 - 25 June 2021, United Kingdom


The Royal Society of Chemistry is pleased to announce that this event will be moving online.


Join us in June 2021 for this addition to our Faraday Discussion series. For over 100 years and 300 meetings, Faraday Discussions have been the forefront of physical chemistry. Many of these Discussions have become landmark meetings in their field.
This meeting is for established scientists, post-graduate students and industrial researchers interested in area of metal-organic framework (MOF) and related materials. Given the recent developments in this interdisciplinary field, including the emergence of MOFs whose applications and functional properties has led to their commercialisation, the unique format of the Faraday Discussions will allow for in-depth discussions and opportunities to establish new collaborations.
On behalf of our committee, we look forward to welcoming you.
Martin Schröder


Faraday Discussions remain amongst the only conferences to distribute the speakers’ research papers in advance, allowing the majority of each meeting to be devoted to discussion in which all delegates can participate.  Following each meeting a written record of the discussion is published alongside the papers in the Faraday Discussions journal.

Find out more about the Faraday Discussion in this video:


The area of MOFs and related materials is arguably one of the hottest interdisciplinary subjects spanning chemistry, materials science, physics and engineering. A primary reason for this major interest is the possibility of tuning the chemical and structural flexibility of these materials using an enormous variety of combinations of metal ions, bridging ligands, counter-ions and formation of hybrids and composites.

The Faraday Discussion will be organised into the following themes:
Fundamental studies and design of MOFs
We will discuss methods of synthesis and characterisation of MOFs in the context of their applications. Key challenges in the field are in the design and synthesis of polyfunctional robust materials, the formation of MOF-hybrids, multi-composite systems and defect structures, and the characterisation of these using spectroscopic, analytical and structural methods

Applications of MOFs
In this session, we will discuss how to develop real applications for MOFs in the energy and environment fields. There is plenty of scope to develop new applications for MOFs in the coming years, particularly in nuclear energy, water management and surface coatings, adding to their established applications in areas such as substrate storage, selectivity and purification, proton conductivity and transport, photo- and electro-chemistry, and catalysis.

Theory and modelling of MOFs
A key challenge in the field is the use of computation to predict, analyse and deliver new ideas to give synthetic targets and to explain why materials work or not. This session will discuss the applicability of theory and modelling to the analysis of MOF properties and synthetic routes.

Commercialisation of MOFs
Commercial activity relating to MOFs has recently developed apace. We will discuss how to achieve commercial viability of MOF technologies and how to deliver these to the marketplace. We will also consider the barriers and challenges in achieving commercialisation, and examine how a successful spin out can be achieved.


The Royal Society of Chemistry is keen to encourage and enable as many people as possible to attend our events, to benefit from the networking opportunities and the chance to hear talks from leaders in the field. If you would like to discuss accessibility, or have childcare, caring responsibilities or other care needs, please contact us to discuss your requirements so that we can enable your attendance. Please refer also to our Grants for carers fund, for more information please see the ‘bursaries’ section on this page.
Professor Omar Yaghi (2020 RSC Prize and Award Winner), University of California, Berkeley, United States

Professor Omar M. Yaghi has pioneered a new branch of science called reticular chemistry resulting in porous materials called Metal–Organic Frameworks (MOFs), Covalent Organic Frameworks (COFs), and Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks (ZIFs). These substances are the most porous known to date and can be easily designed and transformed chemically, making them useful for hydrogen and methane storage, carbon capture and conversion, and catalysis, to mention a few applications.

Particularly, Professor Yaghi has pioneered the use of these porous crystals such as MOFs to harvest water from desert air, and MOFs do it so efficiently that no additional energy is needed other than the warmth of the natural sunlight.

Professor Yaghi called for “personalized water” in which he laid out a vision of having water off grid in the future, where people have a device at home running on ambient solar energy, delivering the water that satisfies the needs of a household. He believes at a time when fresh water resources are becoming increasingly scarce, it is important to establish water as a basic human right that must be guaranteed to every person on earth.

Professor S. Kitagawa (Closing remarks), University of Kyoto, Japan

Susumu Kitagawa obtained a Ph.D. degree from Kyoto University. He is a distinguished professor at Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Science (KUIAS) and Director of Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS), Kyoto University.
He originated the science and technology of gas with PCP/MOFs. He predicted early on the softness of PCP/MOF crystals and demonstrated that their framework changes in response to external fields to express various functions such as storage, separation, and conversion. He named these materials soft porous crystals (SPC) as a more generic term and pioneered the chemistry, which is now rapidly spreading to other porous materials.
He showed a clear vision for research by categorizing PCP/MOF materials as evolving from the first- to second-generation type in the early days to the third-generation in SPC and now to the fourth-generation type.
He advocates that the 21st century will be the "age of gas," where gas will be a crucial material in all areas of the environment, energy, resources, and health, and porous materials will play an important role.

Professor François-Xavier Coudert, CNRS, PSL Research University, France

François-Xavier Coudert obtained his PhD in 2007 form the Université Paris-Sud (France), before becoming a post-doctoral researcher at University College London (UK). He was recruited as a CNRS researcher at PSL University, in Paris, in 2008. He was promoted to senior researcher in 2019, and holds a position as professor at École normale supérieure in Paris. His main research interests lie in the computational study of materials and interfaces, with specific focus on developing molecular simulations methods and statistical thermodynamics models to describe the adsorption of molecular fluids in zeolites, metal–organic frame- works, and other nanoporous materials. In particular, he loves materials with flexibility, defects, and disorder. See for further details.

Professor Yong Cui, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

Yong Cui received his PhD in physical chemistry in 1999 from Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, CAS. He conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Science and Technology of China, University of North Carolina and University of Chicago from 1999 to 2005. He joined Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2005, where he is now a chair professor of chemistry. His research interest focuses on the fields of chiral chemistry, porous framework materials, supramolecular assemblies, catalysis and separation. He has received several awards including the Cheung Kong Professorship by Chinese Ministry of Education, the Outstanding Youth of Natural Science Foundation of China for Academic Excellence and Natural Science Awards of Shanghai (First class)

Professor Deanna D’Alessandro, University of Sydney, Australia

Deanna obtained her BSc in chemistry, physics and mathematics from James Cook University followed by PhD research with Em/Prof. Richard Keene which received the 2006 RACI Cornforth Medal and a 2007 IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists. Following postdoctoral work with Prof. Jeff Long at the University of California, Berkeley (2007-9) as the Dow Chemical Company Fellow (American-Australian Association) and an 1851 Fellow, she returned to Australia to build her independent research exploring emergent electronic phenomena in framework materials. She has held various fellowships (L’Oréal Australia for Women in Science Fellowship (2010), ARC QEII Fellowship (2011-16) and an ARC Future Fellowship (2018-)) and was the recipient of the 2017 LeFèvre Medal (Australian Academy of Science).

Dr Patricia Horcajada, Instituto IMDEA Energía, Spain

With an unconventional multidisciplinary scientific background (Pharmacy BCs, 2001 and Material Science Ph.D, 2005; University Complutense of Madrid, Spain), she joined the Institut Lavoisier (France), first as postdoc (2005) and then, as CNRS researcher in 2007. Since 2016, Patricia is Senior Researcher and Head of the Advanced Porous Materials Unit in IMDEA Energy (Madrid, Spain), focused on the development of new multifunctional materials and their application in strategic fields such as energy, environment and health. She got several awards, including the “Young Researchers Leading Groups” (RSEQ, 2020), Leonardo award (BBVA Foundation, 2017) and “Miguel Catalan Price for researchers younger than 40 years old” (Madrid, 2016).

Professor Christian Serre, ENS Paris, France

Christian Serre (50 y/o) got his PhD in 1999 at University de Versailles (France). He became CNRS researcher in 2001 at Institut Lavoisier de Versailles within the porous solids group of prof. Gérard Férey. He took the lead of the group in 2008 and then moved to Paris in 2016 to create a new Institute fully dedicated to Porous Materials within the frame of Ecole Normale Supérieure, ESPCI Paris, CNRS and the PSL university. Christian main expertise lies in the synthesis, characterization of porous solids such as Metal Organic Frameworks and related composites, and their potential applications in health, environment and energy. CS got many awards such as the CNRS Bronze medal, an ERC grant and the Berthelot Medal of the French academy of Sciences. He has published so far >350 publications and 25 patents (3 licensed). He is a Thomson Reuters highly cited scientist (Chemistry) since 2014.

Professor Natalia B. Shustova, University of South Carolina, United States

Natalia B. Shustova received her M.S. degree in Materials Science from Moscow State University (MSU), Russia and two Ph.D. degrees in Physical Chemistry (MSU) and Inorganic Chemistry (Colorado State University). Her postdoctoral research was conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2013, Natalia was appointed as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of South Carolina (USC). After four years, she has been promoted to the rank of an Associate Professor with tenure. Since 2016, Natalia has also served as an associate editor of Materials Chemistry Frontiers. During her independent career, she has received many prestigious awards such as the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, IAS Hans Fischer Fellowship, Cottrell Scholar Award, Alfred P. Sloan Research Award, Breakthrough Award, and Camille Dreyfus Teaching-Scholar Award. Natalia was named a Scialog Fellow of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, which accelerates 21st century transformational science through research, dialog, and community outreach. At USC, Natalia was selected as a McCausland Faculty Fellow, which is given to early career faculty who bring innovation to their research and teaching. Her current research interests include graphitic hybrid materials for sustainable energy conversion, stimuli-responsive materials, sensors, and artificial biomimetic systems.

  • Professor M. Zaworotko (Introductory lecture) University of Limerick, Ireland
  • Dr David Fairen-Jimenez University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Abstract Submission

Poster Abstracts

Posters are displayed throughout the meeting and a poster session is held on the first evening. The Faraday Division Poster Prize will be awarded to the best poster presented by a student at the conference.

As this event is being held as online, we will be using a dedicated online poster platform. If your poster is accepted for this event, you will receive an email from us inviting you log on to the poster platform where you will be able to upload your poster.

Oral Abstracts and Research Papers

A full research paper containing new unpublished results always accompanies oral presentations at Faraday Discussions. Submit an oral/paper abstract by 19 October 2020 if you wish to be considered for an oral presentation and associated published paper. The oral/paper abstract should outline current research in progress. Authors of the selected abstracts must then submit a full research paper with a significant amount of new, unpublished work by 8 February 2021.

The research papers are reviewed upon submission and are sent to all delegates 4 weeks before the meeting so they can be read in advance. At the meeting the presenting author is allowed five minutes to highlight the main points of their paper, and the rest of the time is for discussion. The discussion is recorded and will be published alongside the research paper in the Faraday Discussion Volume. 

Additional Information

Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 6 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation. 

Registration is now open 

Please read the registration information before registering. You can register by clicking on the BOOK NOW button on this page.

Registration includes:
  • ​Attendance at the virtual sessions
  • Attendance at the poster session
  • Attendance at the networking sessions
  • A copy of the discussion pre-prints
Registration fees are as follows (subject to VAT at the prevailing rate):
Members* £55
Non-member** £75
Student members* £15
Student non members £25

* If you are an Royal Society of Chemistry member and wish to register for this meeting, please select the member option on the online registration page. You will need to enter your membership number.

**For non-member registrants, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2021 is available, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event. 

Faraday Discussion publication

A copy of the final theme issue of the Faraday Discussion volume containing papers presented at the Discussion (issued approximately 5 months after the meeting) is not included in the registration fee. A copy of the volume may be purchased at less than half price, this discounted price is only available to Discussion delegates when ordering during the registration process
Book now

Researcher Development Grant

If you are an RSC member and a PhD student or postdoctoral researcher based at a higher education or research institution you are eligible to apply for a Researcher Development Grant.

This grant can provide up to £250 towards activities that will develop your skills and experience as a researcher, which includes registration fees for virtual conferences.

Applications are processed monthly, with the deadline for each round being the last day of the month, and decisions being sent out by the 21st of the following month. Researcher Development Grants can be applied for in addition to Grants for Carers and Assistance Grants.

Grants for Carers

Grants for carers have been introduced following the Royal Society of Chemistry Breaking the barriers report where 78% of chemists working in UK academia felt that managing parenting and/or caring responsibilities has an impact on women’s retention and progression. This fund is not limited to women scientists and welcomes applications from anyone with caring responsibilities. These grants have been supported by The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemists’ Community Fund.

You can apply for up to a maximum of £1000/year to assist with additional financial costs that you incur for care usually provided by you whilst you attend a chemistry related meeting, conference or workshop or a professional development event.

Caring responsibilities are wide and varied, and so each application will be individually assessed, examples of applications that we will consider include:

  • paying for extra home help or nursing care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • additional medical/respite care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • travel expenses for a relative to travel with you to care for dependents whilst you attend a meeting or event
  • paying for extended hours with a care worker/childminder/play scheme to cover time when you will arrive home later than normal.
You are eligible to apply if: 
  • you are a chemist
  • you will incur additional caring expenses whilst attending a chemistry-related meeting, conference, event or workshop or a professional development event
  • you will use these funds to cover the cost of care that you usually provide 
  • you are based in the UK or Ireland or if not, you will normally have held three years RSC membership (past or current).
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