Chemists are naturally more interested in what is there rather than what is not. We are spontaneously drawn to the chemical core of compounds and materials: the atoms, the ways in which they are connected and their interactions with electromagnetic radiation, other atoms/molecules or even biological systems. However, when it comes to porous materials we are less concerned about the atoms themselves rather the spaces between them (the “chemistry beyond matter”).
The goal of the special issue „Functionalization chemistry of porous materials“ that we did in Advanced Functional Materials 2020, 30 (41), Special Issue: Functionalization Chemistry of Porous Materials is to critically review the functionalization chemistry of important porous materials in order to give the reader a fresh perspective that would stimulate them to build on the past and shape the future.
The spirit of all contributions is to push the frontiers of knowledge and stimulate the minds of the next generation. Besides all the advantages of the functionalization chemistry of each considered porous material, emerging challenges are also discussed in order to stimulate research commitment that will lead to future steps towards improving society at large. With all these efforts the authors lay the foundation of new breakthroughs in this field and for this I am sincerely grateful. I am blessed and grateful that I did this special issue with the strong support of Stefano Canossa (University of Antwerp), Zhe Ji (Stanford University) and Andrea Boari who did the superb cover artwork (see below).