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Microporous Framework Solids. By Paul1A. Wright

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Microporous Framework Solids
By Paul A. Wright.
Royal Society of
Chemistry, Cambridge 2008.
430 pp., hardcover
£ 79.00.—ISBN
There is hardly any other class of substances that has, in the past, been the
subject of such intense scientific study as
porous solids. The enormous quantity of
information on the subject in the primary literature is overwhelming, and
therefore it is natural that publishers are
keen to provide monographs and review
articles that deal with special facets of it.
The book Microporous Framework
Solids, by Paul A. Wright, is one such
publication that certainly fills a gap in
the available literature. As the title
indicates, it provides an overview of
crystalline microporous framework
materials which, in accordance with the
present IUPAC nomenclature recommendations, have pore sizes smaller
than 2 nm. This category includes
almost all the zeolite and zeolite-analogous framework materials, as well as the
crystalline porous coordination polymers that are generally described as
“MOFs” (metal organic frameworks)
and have become increasingly important
in the last few years.
First, the author is to be congratulated for having had the courage to write
a book on this complex subject. In my
opinion the most important benefit of
that bold initiative is that this book,
unlike some multi-volume handbooks
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 7163
on this class of materials, which often
consist of an edited collection of review
articles by different authors, has been
written by a single author, a fact that
contributes greatly to its understandability and clarity. In 430 pages the book
offers the reader an up-to-date and wellresearched insight into almost all
aspects of the chemistry of microporous
framework materials. The first three
chapters cover the historical development of the various types of materials,
the principles of their structure and
nomenclature, and experimental methods for investigating their structures.
That is followed, in a logical sequence,
by six chapters dealing with special
aspects such as structural modeling by
molecular and quantum-mechanical
methods, examples of synthetic methods, stability in relation to the fundamental chemical properties of different
framework materials, porosity characteristics and material transport, and
functional properties, the latter with a
strong emphasis on catalytic applications.
From the choice of examples that he
describes, it becomes obvious that the
author0s home territory is in the field of
microporous zeolites, and the clarity of
the presentation certainly benefits from
that. On the other hand, the book will be
less useful to “MOF specialists”, as this
interesting class of materials is only
treated sporadically. That may be due
to the fact that, although there has been
an exponential growth in the number of
new MOF structures published in the
last few years, the potential applications
have so far concentrated on the storage
of gases (methane, hydrogen, CO2). No
convincing examples of catalytic applications of MOFs with industrial potential have yet been reported. In a second
edition of the book, which one hopes
will appear in the future, it will be
interesting to see whether the balance
of emphasis between MOFs and zeolites
will change significantly. The publisher
should certainly consider developing
this into a classic work that can be
extended and updated over many decades.
Wright0s book could be used as an
introduction or textbook for students at
undergraduate or master level, but it is
not very suitable for that purpose. The
density of information is simply too
high, as is evident from the large
number of literature references (877).
On the other hand, it is an excellent
source for the scientist who, for example, is beginning a dissertation, or wants
to learn about the present state of
knowledge on microporous materials.
The book lacks some attractiveness due
to the fact that nearly all the illustrations
are gray-scale pictures. Especially in
Chapter 2, where the author describes
the main structural families of microporous framework materials, some color
illustrations would made a great contribution to a better understanding. In
some parts the choice of structural
models seems arbitrary and capricious,
changing frequently between wire
models (sometimes showing oxygen
centers, sometimes not), ball-and-stick
models, and polyhedral models. This
may be because many of them have
been taken directly from the original
publications (whether cited in the book
or not). A book that raises expectations
of a degree of didactical quality deserves
more careful editorial work on some of
the illustrations in a future edition.
The great strength of the work
certainly lies in the fact that it comes
from a single author. Thus, in all the
chapters one finds cross-references to
previous or later places in the text
which, for example, draw the reader0s
attention to relationships between special structural properties, suitable methods of investigation, and results from
such studies for particular materials. In
all the chapters the scientific content is
up-to-date (covering published work up
to about 2006). The choice of literature
references is, of course, subjective, but
on the whole it is very good. Therefore,
the book should be in the everyday
collections of all research groups whose
work is focused on porous materials or
who sometimes deal with them.
Dirk Volkmer
Institut f)r Anorganische Chemie II
Universit,t Ulm (Germany)
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200885581
1 2008 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
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microporous, framework, solids, wright, paul1a
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