Controlling water structure and behavior: design principles from metal organic nanotubular materials
Water contained within nanoporous spaces exhibits different chemical and physical properties to those that are observed in the bulk phase, and these differences are exploited in the natural world to impart specific functionalities to biologic and geologic systems. The goal of rational design is to take this inspiration from nature and develop an understanding of structure–function relationships to create materials with similar or improved level of control. In this highlight, we explore the similarities between water confined within synthetic metal organic nanotubular materials and natural systems. We focus first on water structure and unique hydrogen bonding nets and then move to the observed differences in water behavior between nanoconfined and bulk systems. Last, we discuss specific design principles that should be explored to control the structure and properties of water under confinement within metal organic nanotubular materials.