In September 2018, the First EuropeanWorkshop on Metal Phosphonates Chemistry brought
together some prominent researchers in the field of metal phosphonates and phosphinates with the
aim of discussing past and current research e orts and identifying future directions. The scope of
this perspective article is to provide a critical overview of the topics discussed during the workshop,
which are divided into two main areas: synthesis and characterisation, and applications. In terms of
synthetic methods, there has been a push towards cleaner and more e cient approaches. This has led
to the introduction of high-throughput synthesis and mechanochemical synthesis. The recent success
of metal–organic frameworks has also promoted renewed interest in the synthesis of porous metal
phosphonates and phosphinates. Regarding characterisation, the main advances are the development
of electron di raction as a tool for crystal structure determination and the deployment of in situ
characterisation techniques, which have allowed for a better understanding of reaction pathways.
In terms of applications, metal phosphonates have been found to be suitable materials for several
purposes: they have been employed as heterogeneous catalysts for the synthesis of fine chemicals, as
solid sorbents for gas separation, notably CO2 capture, as materials for electrochemical devices, such
as fuel cells and rechargeable batteries, and as matrices for drug delivery.