Hierarchical porous metal-organic gels and derived materials: from fundamentals to potential applications

Chem Soc Rev. 2022 Oct 31;51(21):9068-9126. doi: 10.1039/d2cs00585a.


Metal-organic gels (MOGs) emerged as a novel class of functional soft materials in which the scaffolding framework is fabricated by metal-ligand coordination in combination with other supramolecular interactions (for example, hydrogen bonding or π-π stacking). Through the combination of organic and inorganic (metal/metal-oxo clusters) building blocks, significant steps forward have been made in the development of new electrochemical sensors, superhydrophobic materials and ion storage devices, among others. These leaps forward are to some extend induced by the intrinsic hierarchical microporous/mesoporous pore structure of these metal-organic materials. Within this review we give an overview of recent developments of this growing field. First, we shed light onto the parallels to the well-established field of conventional gels and outline similarities and differences. Afterwards, we classify different types of MOGs according to their architectural/structural nature: (1) pristine MOGs, (2) hybrid MOGs, (3) crosslinking-based MOGs and (4) MOG-derived materials. Furthermore, we look at the different properties of MOGs and the requirements for the preparation of spatially patterned macro-structured MOGs by emerging additive manufacturing technologies. Moreover, different potential fields of application for MOGs and MOG derived materials are critically evaluated and potential improvements and pitfalls in comparison to traditional gel-based materials are given. Finally, a comprehensive outlook into future directions for the development of MOGs is provided.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gels / chemistry
  • Metals* / chemistry
  • Porosity


  • Gels
  • Metals