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Synthesis and functional studies of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) derived from high oxidation state metal ions

Faculty of Life Sciences

About the Project

Metal-organic frameworks or MOFs are a class of porous materials made of metal ions and rigid organic linkers which are known secondary building units or SBUs. Synthesis and study of MOFs is a very hot area of contemporary research because of their versatile potential application in gas storage, separation, drug delivery, catalysis, etc. Despite of their high potential in different applications, most of these materials lack stability in aqueous medium. This limits their applications in many cases.

This project will focus on synthesis of new metal organic frameworks using extended carboxylic acids as linkers with different metal ions with high oxidation states of +3 and +4. Special focus will be given to Ln(III) (Ln = different lanthanides), Al(III), and Zr(IV) metal ions in order to achieve relatively stable MOFs. The metal ions with high oxidation states will also act as Lewis-acid sites due to their high positive charge density. The free amino group of the linker will act as Lewis-base sites. The resulting MOFs will be checked for tandem catalysis against different organic reactions. Gas adsorption properties will be also studied for the resulting MOFs. Design of new linkers with additional functional groups will be of special interest to tune the catalytic behaviour in the resulting MOFs. Besides catalysis, other applications, like gas storage, separation (toxic gases, hydrocarbons, CO2) will be studied using the resulting porous materials.

During this project the student will get introduced with one of the most active area of research in chemistry, and will receive intensive training on synthesis of novel extended organic linkers and porous MOFs. The student will also get experience in handling various characterization techniques which include, X-ray diffraction (PXRD, and SMX), IR, NMR, UV-Vis, TGA, BET-surface area analysis, etc. The student will be guided to interpret, communicate, and disseminate the results generated from the research project.

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