We are pleased to announce a new paper from the NICE group: "Nature-inspired optimization of hierarchical porous media for catalytic and separation processes" Panagiotis Trogadas, Michael Nigra and Marc-Olivier Coppens New J. Chem., 2016, Accepted Manuscript, DOI: 10.1039/C5NJ03406J, First published online 12 Feb 2016
Hierarchical materials combining pore sizes of different length scales are highly important for catalysis and separation processes, where optimization of adsorption and transport properties is required. Nature can be an excellent guide to rational design, as it is full of hierarchical structures that are intrinsically scaling, efficient and robust. However, much of the "inspiration" from nature is, at present, empirical; considering the huge design space, we advocate a methodical, fundamental approach based on mechanistic features.