Nanostructured Inorganic-Organic Hybrids: Engineering a New Class of Porous Materials
Walton, Krista S.
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Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) or coordination polymers are inorganic-organic hybrids that represent a new direction in porous materials research. MOFs possess highly uniform structures with permanent, high porosities and very high surface areas. Materials are synthesized by interconnection of multi-dentate organic linkers with metal ion or cluster vertices to form extended periodic structures. Flexible synthesis techniques provide unprecedented control over pore size and chemical functionality of the internal pore surface. The judicious choice of metal cluster and organic linker can allow for the design of materials with interesting magnetic, optical, catalytic, or selective adsorption properties. The rich field of coordination chemistry provides a versatile platform on which these materials may be assembled using an almost infinite set of building blocks. This flexibility introduces a difficult, unconstrained design problem. Understanding the adsorption and catalytic properties of MOFs will help narrow down the design scope and facilitate the development of functional materials to perform targeted separations and purifications. In this seminar, I will introduce this new class of materials and discuss our current research in this emerging area. Adsorption experiments and molecular modeling results will be presented for several gases on model MOFs. Specific discussion will be given regarding the effect of pore size, unsaturated metal sites, and functionalized ligands on the adsorption of light gases. The implications of these results for impacting adsorption applications such as separations, catalysis, and controlled storage and release will be discussed.