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Inorganic Chemistry


JProf. Dr. Sebastian Henke


Technische Universität Dortmund
Anorganische Chemie
Otto-Hahn-Str. 6
D-44227 Dortmund

Room: C2-07-176

Phone: +49 231 755 3976
Fax: +49 231 755 5048




Sebastian Henke is a scientist working in the emerging area of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs), a young class of highly porous materials composed of organic and inorganic building units. MOFs possess huge structural and compositional diversity, which makes them ideal platforms to achieve specifically  tailored materials for a desired application, e.g. carbon dioxide capture, fuel storage (hydrogen, methane) or (enantio-)selective catalysis, to name just a few.

His research is focussing on the structural chemistry as well as the functional and fundamental properties of MOFs. Of particular interest are MOFs which exhibit unusual and extreme structural flexibility. These so called Soft Porous Crystals (SPCs) represent the next generation of porous materials by combining the regularity of crystalline solids with the specific responsiveness of adaptive biomolecules. SPCs undergo quite dramatic but reversible structural changes depending on external stimuli, such as guest adsorption, changes in temperature or mechanical pressure (see figure).




This unique combination of properties renders SPCs particularly interesting for applications in molecular recognition, sensing, highly selective gas separations or as actuators. Sebastian’s work concentrates on two aspects of SPCs:

  • The targeted manipulation of the responsive properties of SPCs by means of synthetic chemistry. How to direct the sorption properties of SPCs (gated adsorption, breathing)?
  • The fundamental understanding of the supramolecular mechanics of these porous networks. How do SPCs react to mechanical pressure and temperature? What determines their mechanical properties? What are their limitations and advantages compared to non-responsive MOFs and other porous materials such as zeolites?