The application of porous organic polymers as metal free photocatalysts in organic synthesis

M. Debruyne, P. Van der Voort, V. Van Speybroeck, C. Stevens
Chemistry - A European Journal


Concerns about increasing greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on our environment highlight the urgent need for new sustainable technologies. Visible light photocatalysis allows the clean and selective generation of reactive intermediates under mild conditions. The more widespread adoption of the current generation of photocatalysts, particularly those using precious metals, is hampered by drawbacks such as their cost, toxicity, difficult separation, and limited recyclability. This is driving the search for alternatives, such as porous organic polymers (POPs). This new class of materials is made entirely from organic building blocks, can possess high surface area and stability, and has a controllable composition and functionality. This review focuses on the application of POPs as photocatalysts in organic synthesis. For each reaction type, a representative material is discussed, with special attention to the mechanism of the reaction. Additionally, an overview is given, comparing POPs with other classes of photocatalysts, and critical conclusions and future perspectives are provided on this important field.