Department of Chemistry Seminar - Hybrid Perovskite Formates: From Multiferroics to Carbon Capture

10:30am - 12:00pm
Room 1410, 1/F (near Lifts 25-26), Academic Building, HKUST

Speaker: Professor Sir Anthony CHEETHAM

Institution: Materials Research Laboratory, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA; 

                 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National University of Singapore

Hosted By: Professor Haipeng LU



Hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites comprise a number of important families, including the lead-based halides (e.g. CH3NH3PbI3) and the formates (e.g. [(CH3)2NH2]Zn(HCOO)3) [1], as well as analogous systems with the perovskite-related ReO3 structure [2]. The perovskite formates are notable for their exciting ferroelectric and multiferroic behaviour. In our most recent work in this area, we have studied the mechanism of the ferroelectric phase transition in [(CH3)2NH2]Mn(HCOO)3 using a combination of X-ray crystallography, solid state 2H NMR, and computer simulations [3], and compared its behaviour to that of the analogous azide compound [(CH3)2NH2]Mn(N3)3 [4]. By contrast, the MIII(HCOO)3 formates (M = Al, Mn, Fe, etc) are an emerging class of porous materials that show exciting potential for CO2 capture from flue gases [5], O2/N2 air separation [6], CO2/hydrocarbon separations [7] and hydrogen storage [8]. Recent developments in these areas will be discussed.


  1. Li, Wang, Deschler, Gao, Friend & Cheetham, Nature Rev. Mater. 2, 16099 (2017)
  2. Evans, Wu, Seshadri & Cheetham, Nature Rev. Mater. 5, 196 (2020)
  3. Li, Li, Xu, Qin, Stroppa, Butler, Howard, Dove, Cheetham, Li, & Bu, J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 144, 816 (2022)
  4. Wei, Li, Butler, Feng, Howard, Gao, Carpenter, Lu, Walsh & Cheetham, Angew. Chemie 57, 8932 (2018)
  5. Evans, Mullangi, Deng, Wang, Peh, Wei, Wang, Brown, Zhao, Canepa & Cheetham, Science Advances 8, eade1473 (2022)
  6. Mullangi, Evans, Deng, Wang, Peh, Wei, Wang, Brown, Zhao, Canepa & Cheetham, J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 145, 9850 (2023)
  7. Zhang, Peh, Kang, Shi, Wang, Evans, Deng, Canepa, Cheetham & Zhao, J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 145, 11643 (2023)
  8. Evans, Yildirim, Peng, Cheng, Deng, Zhang, Mullangi, Zhao, Canepa, Bruenig, Cheetham, Brown, J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 145, XXXX (2023)


Brief Biography of Professor Sir Tony Cheetham:

Tony Cheetham is a Research Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore. He was formerly the Goldsmiths’ Professor of Materials Science at the University of Cambridge (2007-2017) and the Treasurer and Vice-President of the Royal Society (2012-2017). Cheetham obtained his D.Phil. at Oxford in 1972 and did post-doctoral work in the Materials Physics Division at Harwell. He joined the Chemistry faculty at Oxford in 1974, and then moved to UC Santa Barbara in 1991 to become Professor in the Materials Department. From 1992-2004 he was the Director of UCSB’s Materials Research Laboratory. Cheetham is a member of 12 national and international science academies and has received several international awards. In January 2020 he was knighted by the Queen for “Services to Materials Chemistry, UK Science and Global Outreach”. Cheetham’s research interests span both inorganic and hybrid (organic-inorganic) materials, and include the synthesis of novel compositions and the study of their structures and properties. He has worked extensively on framework materials such as aluminosilicate zeolites and metal-organic frameworks, where he has explored electronic, optical and magnetic properties, as well as adsorption processes and separations. He has published ~735 scientific papers and his work has been cited more than 65,000 times (Google Scholar).

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