2012 - Gérard Férey, a significant French inventor to Dublin (16-19 April),
Prof Gérard Férey is a French chemist, academician and the inventor of hybrid new materials. In recognition of the international impact of his work, and his long and brilliant career (with more than 600 scientific papers), Gérard Férey has been awarded the 2010 CNRS Gold Medal, France’s highest distinction in scientific research.
He came to Dublin to meet up with student of the French Irish school (Lycée Français d’Irlande) in the framework of a large multidisciplinary project carried out by students and teachers from the primarty and secondary school, on the occasion of the International Year of Chemistry.
Prof Gérard Férey also gave two lectures at the departments of chemistry of the two main universities in Dublin: TCD and UCD: the titles of his lectures were respectively "From interesting to useful : the contribution of porous solids to the society", and " Why and how hybrid and porous solids capture greenhouse gases?".
The story of porous solids begins in 1756 in Sweden, but their tremendous development during the last twenty years make them now strategic materials.
The example of hybrid porous solids – which result from the three-dimensional association by strong bonds of inorganic and organic moieties – illustrates what the integrated approach of chemists must be, from pure academic research to industrial production, for providing solutions to current societal problems in the domains of energy, energy savings, sustainable development and health.
For example, hybrid porous solids are excellent materials for hydrogen storage at very low temperatures, and for greenhouse gases at room temperature. Their separating power for gas mixtures operates with low energy consumption. Beside they are excellent catalysts and, recently, these non-toxic solids appear to be the best nano-vectors for the storage and long-term delivery of anti-tumoral et anti-retroviral drugs. Their easy production at large scale leads for some of them to an industrial development.