Professor Hiroshi Nishihara, The University of Tokyo, Japan
Professor Neil Champness, University of Nottingham, UK
Professor Ren-Gen Xiong, Southeast University, China
Catalysts, Solid state, Interdisciplinary chemistry
Metal complexes can have flexible structures and electronic states. This flexibility is a useful tool for constructing functional molecules, and metal complexes continue to assume greater importance in material chemistry. Concerns about the long-term effects of global warming ensure that the increasing concentration of CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere must be addressed as a matter of urgency. To tackle the issue, recent research has focussed on the development of molecular species that act as catalysts for either the energy-efficient conversion of waste CO2 into carbon feedstocks or fuels, or the solar energy-driven generation of clean, non-carbon based fuels. Whilst much of this effort has traditionally involved the use of heterogeneous, solid-state semiconducting materials, molecular photocatalysts have become increasingly attractive due to their versatility, homogeneity and tuneable properties. On the other hand, solid state functions are another important issue in coordination chemistry. We, coordination chemists, have focussed our attention on the optical, magnetic, and electrical properties of metal complexes and we have developed molecular superconductors, quantum magnets, ferroelectric materials, etc. The challenge now is not only to build high performance materials but also to explore new functional materials, such as multi-switches and multiferroicity, through integration of two/three physical properties. We believe this fundamental chemistry is crucial for the ongoing development of molecular devices. It is, however, important to both review our progress and to consider the new physical properties and functions which may be found in such materials. In this symposium, up-and-coming chemists will gather to discuss new findings in the fields of energy conversion and solid state chemistry, with a focus on catalysis, conductivity, magnetism, and multi-functional behavior. We will discuss the state-of-the-art and attempt to predict the goals and future directions of coordination chemistry over the next decade.