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Dr Clive Oliver
  +27 (0)21 650 3830
  6.12, PD Hahn building, upper campus


  • Senior Lecturer (2017 - present), University of Cape Town, RSA
  • Lecturer (2007—2017), University of Cape Town, RSA
  • Claude Leon Postdoctoral Fellow (2005—2007), University of Stellenbosch, RSA
  • BSc Honours (1998), PhD (2004), University of Cape Town, RSA

Research Interests

My research deals mainly with the design of porous materials and large supramolecular assemblies. Porous materials allow the passage of small molecules through their matrices, and may thus be used for a variety of applications. One of these applications is gas storage and here hydrogen storage is especially relevant since hydrogen has been identified as a possible alternative to fossil fuels, leading to the pursuit of the so–called ‘hydrogen economy’. However, with regard to its use as a fuel source for motor vehicles, some practical challenges remain. Large amounts of hydrogen gas are needed to make it a practical fuel source and thus one of the very important challenges for its use in this regard is the reduction of pressure under which the hydrogen gas will need to be stored, in order to reduce the need for heavy containers. Materials that adsorb hydrogen will aid in this regard since they will concentrate the gas onto their available surface areas, thereby reducing the pressure within these containers.

Synthetic, large, multi–component, supramolecular assemblies which enclose chemical space are rare. This area of research draws its inspiration from nature (viruses, cells, etc.) and it is envisaged that these systems may in future serve as drug carriers or confined spaces to catalyze reactions. In this area of my research, I have separate collaborations with Professor Barbour and with Dr Nikoletta Báthori (Cape Peninsula University of Technology).

Representative Publications

  1. Caira, M .R., Bourne, S. A, Oliver, C. L., Thermal and structural characterization of two polymorphs of the bronchodilator tulobuterol, Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 2004, 77, 597-605.
  2. Dobrzanska, L., Lloyd, G. O., Jacobs, T., Rootman, I., Oliver, C. L., Bredenkamp, M. W., Barbour, L. J., Construction of one- and two-dimensional coordination polymers using ditopic imidazole ligands, Journal of Molecular Structure, 2006, 796, 107-113.
  3. Davies K., Bourne S.A., Öhrstrom L., Oliver C.L., Anionic zinc-trimesic acid MOFs with unusual topologies: Reversible hydration studies, Dalton Transactions, 2010, 39(11), 2869-2874.
  4. Borel C., Davies K., Handa P., Hedberg G., Oliver C. L., Bourne S. A., Hakansson M., Langer V., Öhrstrom L., Family of Isoreticular Chiral Metal-Organic Frameworks Based on Coordination and Hydrogen Bonds in [M[Co(ethylenediamine)(oxalato)(2)](2)], Crystal Growth and Design, 2010, 10(4), 1971-1978.
  5. Nikoletta B. Báthori, Luigi R. Nassimbeni and Clive L. Oliver, Quininium mandelates—a systematic study of chiral discrimination in crystals of diastereomeric salts, Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 2670.