The Micrograph of the Month has been a regular feature of the monthly ISGS Newsletter since July 2020, with a selection of interesting, intriguing, and occasionally spectacular images reminding us of the blurred boundaries between science and art. In the October 2021 issue, we introduce a new series that we hope will become a regular feature of the Newsletter – the Molecule of the Month – which will be chosen from a recent issue of JSST or from unpublished sources such as PhD theses. This feature reminds us that the diverse range of materials that the sol-gel community develops, characterises and applies across many fields have their origins as chemical precursors with well-defined structures and properties. If you know of any interesting molecules that might be suitable, please contact the ISGS Newsletter Editor for inclusion.
The inaugural Molecule of the Month is taken from a review by Hayami and Gunji entitled “A review of phosphorus(V)-substituted titanium-oxo clusters” (JSST, (2021), https://doi.org/10.1007/s10971-021-05652-5). This review explores the synthesis and properties reported by many workers of over 50 different examples of the title compounds, which have applications in fields such as catalysis, photocatalytic H 2 production and as building blocks for complex organic/inorganic hybrid materials structures. An example of the complex molecular architectures that can be obtained in such systems is illustrated by the structure of [Ti14 O2 (μ3-O)4 (Oi Pr)16 (μ-Oi Pr)10 (O3 PR)8 (OOCR’)2 ], where R is phenyl and R’ is 2-aminoisonicotinate.