Recent developments in solid-state NMR spectroscopy of crystalline microporous materials
Microporous materials, having pores and channels on the same size scale as small to medium molecules, have found many important applications in current technologies, including catalysis, gas separation and drug storage and delivery. Many of their properties and functions are related to their detailed local structure, such as the type and distribution of active sites within the pores, and the specific structures of these active sites. Solid-state NMR spectroscopy has a strong track record of providing the requisite detailed atomic-level insight into the structures of microporous materials, in addition to being able to probe dynamic processes occurring on timescales spanning many orders of magnitude (i.e., from s to ps). In this Perspective, we provide a brief review of some of the basic experimental approaches used in solid-state NMR spectroscopy of microporous materials, and then discuss some more recent advances in this field, particularly those applied to the study of crystalline materials such as zeolites and metal–organic frameworks. These advances include improved software for aiding spectral interpretation, the development of the NMR-crystallography approach to structure determination, new routes for the synthesis of isotopically-labelled materials, methods for the characterisation of host–guest interactions, and methodologies suitable for observing NMR spectra of paramagnetic microporous materials. Finally, we discuss possible future directions, which we believe will have the greatest impact on the field over the coming years.