Friday, May 6, 2011 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Room 610, M&M Building
Prof. Randall Q. Snurr
Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering
Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a new class of nanoporous materials synthesized
in a “building-block” approach by self-assembly of metal or metal-oxide vertices
interconnected by rigid organic linker molecules. The rational synthesis approach opens
up the possibility of incorporating a wide variety of functional groups into the materials,
and these materials may lead to new advances in adsorption separations, gas storage,
sensing, and catalysis. Some of the most intensively studied applications are related to
solving energy and environmental problems, including hydrogen storage for fuel cell
vehicles, capture of CO2 from power plant exhaust, and energy efficient separations.
Because of the predictability of the synthetic routes and the nearly infinite number of
variations possible, molecular modeling is an attractive tool for screening new structures
before they are synthesized. Modeling can also provide insight into the molecular-level
details that lead to observed macroscopic properties. This talk will provide an overview
of MOFs and their potential applications, as well as efforts to predict their properties
using molecular modeling.
Randy Snurr is a Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Northwestern University. He holds BSE and PhD degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Berkeley, respectively. From 1994-95, he performed post-doctoral research at the University of Leipzig in Germany supported by a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Other honors include a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation and the Leibniz professorship at the University of Leipzig in 2009. He is a Senior Editor of the Journal of Physical Chemistry and has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Molecular Catalysis A, Catalysis Communications, and Current Nanoscience. His research interests include development of new nanoporous materials for energy and environmental applications, molecular simulation, adsorption separations, diffusion in nanoporous materials, and catalysis.