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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



Welcome to our webpage. We are materials chemists working at the interface of solid-state and molecular chemistry. Our goal is to construct functional materials via a modular approach utilising Werner-type coordination chemistry. By self-assembly of inorganic and organic building units we synthesize extended (2D or 3D) coordination networks (or metal-organic frameworks, MOFs) with interesting chemical and physical properties (porosity, flexibility, disorder, etc.). Ultimately, we want to modulate the functional properties of our materials systematically by chemical principles.


Open Positions

We have one open position for a doctoral student currently available. The research project shall deal with mechanically switchable MOFs for sensing and energy storage. Moreover, several other exciting research topics in the area of flexible MOFs (gas sorption, temperature-driven phase transitions) are available for Bachelor and Master theses.

If interested, please contact Sebastian Henke by email.




Funding for Porous Salts


Most MOFs are based on di-, tri- or tetravalent metal ions (e.g. Zn2+, Cu2+, Al3+, Zr4+ etc.). Porous frameworks composed of monovalent alkali ions (Li+, Na+, K+) linked by organic anions are rare, however. We are very happy that the DFG decided to fund our project on “Porous Alkali-Organic Frameworks - From Design towards Application”. First examples of these new materials, which can be regarded as porous alkali-organic salts (see Figure), will be reported soon.




Sebastian received a Max-Buchner-Scholarship from DECHEMA for a research project focussing on the utilisation of nanoparticles of flexible MOFs as functional additives for lubrication systems.



n2018-03We are part of the EXPLORE Materials Chain (EXMAC) project, which enables us to invite an international postdoc to our lab for two weeks (27 October – 14 November 2018). Within this two-week stay, we will develop a joint research idea and prepare a dedicated proposal for the independent funding of the postdoc. If you are interested to visit our group and work on an exciting project of current materials chemistry please visit our profile on the EXMAC webpage.

Top Download

Our recent paper “Different Breathing Mechanisms in Flexible Pillared-Layered Metal-Organic Frameworks − Impact of the Metal Center”  is among the Top 20 most downloaded articles of Chemistry of Materials in March 2018. 


Paper published in Chemistry of Materials

n2018-2“Different Breathing Mechanisms in Flexible Pillared-Layered Metal-Organic Frameworks − Impact of the Metal Center”

A. Schneemann, P. Vervoorts, I. Hante, M. Tu, S. Wannapaiboon, C. Sternemann, M. Paulus, D. C. F. Wieland, S. Henke*, R. A. Fischer*, Chem. Mater. 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b05052

 Flexible metal-organic frameworks expand their extended network structure upon adsorption of gases. We reveal that the mechanism of structure expansion (the so called breathing) can be very different even in isostructural compounds possessing varying divalent metal ions M2+ (i.e. Co2+, Ni2+, Cu2+ or Zn2+). With the help of isothermal gas adsorption measurements and synchrotron X-ray diffraction studies, we revealed that flexible pillared-layered MOFs either switch between discrete phases (M2+ = Cu2+ or Zn2+) or undergo a continuous swelling followed by discontinuous switching (M2+ = Co2+ or Ni2+) upon adsorption of CO2 from the gas phase.


Paper published in Chemical Science

n2018-01“Pore closure in zeolitic imidazolate frameworks under mechanical pressure”

S. Henke*, M. T. Wharmby, G. Kieslich, I. Hante, A. Schneemann, Y. Wu, D. Daisenberger, A. K. Cheetham, Chem. Sci. 2018,9, 1654-1660

In collaboration with colleagues from Diamond Light Source, Cambridge, Munich and Bochum we discovered that zeolitic imidazolate frameworks of the cag topology reversibly switch between an open and a closed pore form in response to mechanical pressure.


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