Professor Omar Yaghi
Director, Molecular Foundry
James and Neeltje Tretter Endowed Chair in Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley
Professor Omar Yaghi's work encompasses synthesis, structure and properties of inorganic compounds and design and construction of new crystalline materials. He is widely known for inventing several extensive classes of new materials termed metal-organic frameworks, zeolitic imidazolate frameworks, and covalent organic frameworks. These materials have the highest surface areas and the lowest densities known to date, making them useful in clean energy technologies such as hydrogen storage, methane storage, and carbon dioxide capture.
This new field, called 'reticular chemistry,' has led to an explosive growth in the creation of new materials made by stitching molecular building blocks into extended structures by strong bonds. Professor Yaghi's pioneering works have resulted in more than 120 papers with more than 235 citations each, making him the second most highly cited chemist in the world (2000-2010).
Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs)
Design of framework structures in which metal oxides clusters act as 'joints' and the organic linkers as 'struts' to produce highly porous crystals (ca. 4,800 m2/g) with the lowest density ever recorded for a crystalline material. These remarkable properties are found to be useful in gas storage, in particular hydrogen and methane storage for fueling automobiles, laptops, cellular phones and other mobile electronics. At present some MOFs are being prepared inexpensively in kilogram quantities.
- Metal Organic Polyhedra
- Covalent Organic Frameworks
- Zeolite Imidazolate Frameworks
- Conducting Frameworks
Adsorption and Energy Storage
Conventional storage of large amounts of hydrogen in its molecular form is difficult and expensive because it requires employing either extremely high pressures as a gas or very low temperatures as a liquid. The desire to store hydrogen with sufficient efficiency to allow its use in stationary and mobile fueling applications is spurring a worldwide effort in new materials development.
Carbon Dioxide Capture
For an effective adsorption medium to have long-term viability in CO2 removal it should combine two features: (i) a periodic structure for which CO2 uptake and release is fully reversible, and (ii) a flexibility with which chemical functionalization and molecular level fine-tuning can be achieved for optimized uptake capacities.
Design and Materiainformatics
Given the vast number of structures that could result from assembly of molecular shapes, how do we as designers (a) identify the most important topologies expected to form, (b) determine their distribution among known crystal structures, and (c) find means of interpreting, organizing, and classifying this data for developing systems of grammar and taxonomy for design of extended structures, rationalization of existing structures, and predicting new ones.
Ultra-high porosity in metal-organic frameworks, H. Furukawa, N. Ko, Y. B. Go, N. Aratani, S. B. Choi, E. Choi, A. O. Yazaydin, R. Q. Snurr, M. O'Keeffe, J. Kim, O. M. Yaghi, Science, 2010, 239, 424-428.
The pervasive chemistry of metal-organic frameworks, J. R. Long and O. M. Yaghi, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2009, 38, 1213-1214.
Colossal cages in zeolitic imidazolate frameworks as selective carbon dioxide reservoirs, B. Wang, H. Furukawa, M. O'Keeffe, O. M. Yaghi, Nature, 2008, 453, 207-212.
High-throughput synthesis of zeolitic imidazolate frameworks and application to CO2 capture, R. Banerjee, A. Phan, B. Wang, C. Knobler, H. Furukawa, M. O'Keeffe, O. M. Yaghi, Science, 2008, 319, 939-943.
Exceptional H-2 saturation uptake in microporous metal-organic frameworks, A. G. Wong-Foy, A. J. Matzger, O. M. Yaghi, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2006, 128, 3494-3495.
Director, Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
James and Neeltje Tretter Endowed Chair in Chemistry at University of California, Berkeley
PhD, University of Illinois-Urbana; NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University
Omar M. Yaghi received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois-Urbana (1990) with Professor Walter G. Klemperer. He was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University (1990-92) with Professor Richard H. Holm. He has been on the faculties of Arizona State University (1992-98), University of Michigan (1999-2006), and University of California, Los Angeles (2007-2011). His current positions are the James and Neeltje Tretter Endowed Chair in Chemistry at University of California, Berkeley (Department of Chemistry) and the Director for the Molecular Foundry at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His earlier honors include the Solid State Chemistry Award of the American Chemical Society and Exxon Co. (1998) and the Sacconi Medal of the Italian Chemical Society (1999). His work on hydrogen storage was recognized by Popular Science Magazine, which listed him among the 'Brilliant 10' scientists and engineers in USA (2006), and the US Department of Energy Hydrogen Program Award for outstanding contributions to hydrogen storage (2007). He was the sole recipient of the Materials Research Society Medal for pioneering work in the theory, design, synthesis and applications of metal-organic frameworks and the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize for the best paper published in Science (2007). He is the recipient of the American Chemical Society Chemistry of Materials Award (2009), the Izatt-Christensen Award for Macrocyclic Chemistry (2009), and the Royal Chemical Society Centenary Prize (2010). More recently, he was named among the top 2 most cited chemists worldwide, having achieved more than 200 citations per paper for over 100 papers (2000-2011).