Significant staff effort and facility instrumentation is devoted to the chemical synthesis and application of porous soft, hard and hybrid materials as bulk solids, thin films, or in confined geometries. User collaborations with staff generally involve new materials for gas and liquid phase separations, membranes, high capacity sorbates, electrochemical energy storage, catalysis, superhydrophobic/ superhydrophilic surface modification, etc.
Highlighted Research Programs
Nanoporous Polymers for Separations in Liquid and Gas Phase
Various shaped porous polymer monoliths have been prepared using novel approaches, with a plethora of small pores and large surface areas. Monoliths have been created that include nanostructures for the control of column efficiency and selectivity (image above), as well as thin nanoporous membranes for the separation of gases.
Multicomponent Hierarchical Materials
Multicomponent hierarchical materials have been designed to feature landscapes of chemical heterogeneity bound within ordered mesoscale architectures. The abundance of interfaces allows the directing of transport for efficient energy storage and conversion.
Electron Donors and Acceptors at Interfaces
Molecular level design and synthesis has created tailor-made electron donors and acceptors that allow for a better understanding and coherent control of functionality and properties across interfaces at different scales.
Porous framework materials allow the location of specific reactive groups within a repeating lattice. Active sites catalyze reactions or selectively bind gas or liquid molecules within the pores.