438723 Porous Materials: A Unique Platform for Separations and Catalysis

Sunday, November 8, 2015
Exhibit Hall 1 (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Gokhan Barin, Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA; Chemistry, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and porous organic polymers as solid-state adsorbents have advanced significantly during the last two decades on account of their high surface areas and pore volumes, chemical and thermal stabilities, and the flexibility in their design and composition. Such features render these materials attractive and promising alternatives over traditional adsorbents in applications including gas storage, gas separations and capture, and catalysis. For instance, in order to facilitate the widespread use of alternative energy sources, new materials that can store large quantities of energy needs to be developed. Highly efficient and selective adsorption of contaminants at vanishingly low concentrations is also a significant environmental and industrial challenge that requires the discovery of solid-state adsorbents with high affinities. In the field of catalysis for energy-related conversions, there is a necessity to develop platforms that can achieve selective transformations in a level that biological systems accomplish. In order to address these challenges, MOFs and porous polymers have the potential to provide the desired combination of structural and chemical composition; therefore the fundamental understanding of structure-property relationship in these materials is highly important in identifying the next-generation materials in energy research.

In this poster, I will present an overview of my efforts during my graduate and postdoctoral studies towards developing and understanding functional materials at the molecular and macromolecular level. My graduate research focused on the chemistry of mechanically interlocked molecules, which provided a platform to investigate the properties of molecular species, i.e., radical dimers, in confined environments, and also their incorporation into a range of integrated systems to develop functional materials. Moving from the self-assembled systems at the molecular level to the ones at the macromolecular level, my postdoctoral studies have so far involved the development of porous materials for applications such as natural gas storage, hydrocarbon separations, and the removal of toxic contaminants from air and in solution. Developing new organic/inorganic synthetic strategies to make these materials and tools to investigate their performance have been the central theme of my postdoctoral research.

My research interests lie primarily at the intersection of organic/inorganic synthesis, physical chemistry, and materials science. In the future, my goal is to establish a research program focusing on (i) the development of soft porous materials for the capture/separation of industrially, environmentally, and biologically relevant chemicals and (ii) the exploration of novel catalysis concepts by taking advantage of the unique structural features (e.g., tunable pore environment and chemical composition) of porous materials in order to produce fuels and chemical feedstocks in an efficient and selective manner. These initial endeavors will encompass areas of chemistry, materials science, and chemical engineering to synthesize, characterize, and evaluate the performance of such materials.

Extended Abstract: File Uploaded