Short CV

1979 Doctorate at the Kyoto University

1979 – 1992 Assistant Professor, Lecturer, Associate Professor, Kinki University

1986 – 1987 Visiting Scientist @ F. A. Cotton, Texas A&M University

1992 – 1998 Professor for Inorganic Chemistry, Tokio Metropolitan University

1998 – today Professor for Inorganic Functional Chemistry, Universität Kyoto

2007 – today Deputy Director, since 2013 Director, Institut for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University

2008 Humboldt Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

His area of research are  Fachgebiet metalorganic framework compunds. He uses the term "chemistry in coordination space".


„Welcome to Small Spaces – Soft Crystalline Porous Coordination Polymers”

With the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, humans began to create technologies that consumed huge amounts of energy. Initially, people used coal (solid) as an energy resource, but the 20th century ushered in the age of petroleum (liquid). In the 21th century, where the depletion of petroleum has become a concern, gases (e.g., natural gas and biogas and even air) should play important roles. Hence, the trend has been shifting from solid to liquid to gas. The future should realize the “age of gas”, which will eventually utilize ubiquitous gases such as air. In this context, porous materials with nanosized spaces will significantly contribute to the science and technology that handles gases ad arbitrium. Materials with nanosized spaces, which are well known as porous materials, are abundant in everyday modern life; they are used for gas storage, separation, and catalysis.

One of the earliest historical records of a porous material is noted on papyrus; the record indicates activated carbon was used in medical treatments in ancient Egypt. About 3,000 years later in 1753, a new porous material, zeolite, was discovered in natural ores. Zeolite was successfully synthesized in the first half of the 20th century, and has contributed remarkably to large-scale processes such as in the petroleum industry.

The discovery of novel materials with functions superior to activated carbon and zeolite would drastically change human life. However, the synthesis of new porous materials remained stagnant until the early 1990s, when interest in the field first became widespread. Based on the revolutionary concept of bottom-up synthesis, we are now able to successfully develop novel porous materials including everything from serendipitous findings to tailor-made synthesis. These are called “porous coordination polymers” (PCPs) or “metal-organic frameworks” (MOFs), which are comprised of organic and inorganic materials. MOFs have great potential in applications for our immediate surroundings as well as a wide variety of fields, such as the global environment, natural resources, development of outer space, life sciences, and energy, demonstrating their extremely high value both for science and for industry [1,2].

[1] S. Kitagawa, Acc. Chem. Res., 2017, 50, 514–516. Commentary
[2] S. Kitagawa, Angew.Chem.Int.Ed., 2015, 54,10686-10687. Editorial