Materials for Reversible Chemisorptive O2 Binding

Vejleder: Christine McKenzie


We have discovered unique solid state materials which mimic the function of hemoglobin: They reversibly bind O2 from the air with a 38-fold selectivity for O2 over N2!


Remarkably it is possible to crystallize phases which perform sequential single-crystal to single-crystal (SCSC) transformations as the crystals change color from brown to pink when they release O2. This means we can follow the chemisorption reaction at the atomic level in the solid state using single crystal X-ray crystallography.


Many applications can be envisaged for these exciting new materials e.g. they could be developed for use in pressure swing absorption devices for the medical delivery of O2 or for sorbing sparse O2 from the stratosphere for suppling aircraft cabins.


In this project you will synthesis a new crystalline phase that we can test for a new SCSC transformation in gas-solid reactions. We hope to gain insight into the mechanism and improve the O2 uptake and/or release kinetics.


J. Sundberg, L. Cameron, P. Southon, C. J., Kepert, and C. J., McKenzie,

Oxygen Chemisorption/Desorption in a Reversible Single-Crystal-To-Single-Crystal Transformation, Chem. Sci., 2014, 5, 4017–4025.

See YOUTUBE video