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Clarkson University Researchers Design Metal-Organic Framework Controlled By Light
A team of Clarkson University researchers have designed a new material that uses light to capture carbon dioxide from exhaust gasses in the atmosphere.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biomolecular Science Mario Wriedt, along with chemistry Ph.D. student Darpandeep Aulakh of Amritsar, India, and computer science graduate student Wen An of Fuyang, China, has published a paper on the research in Chemistry of Materials, a journal by the American Chemical Society.
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a new class of highly porous materials that are structured similarly to a jungle gym, where the nodes represent metal clusters, the struts are organic ligands, and the pores of the framework are accessible for guest molecules.
Wriedt said this technology can be applied to the energy landscape, allowing for small-molecule separation of petroleum products and natural gas storage and purification. Once the carbon dioxide molecules are captured in the MOF, the molecules can be reused or put into storage.
Until now, the challenge was to design a material with a low energy requirement for an efficient capture and release process.
The team's research shows that reversible light-responsive behavior creates on-off switchable charge gradients at the MOF's major adsorption sites, allowing significant control of the gas sorption process while remaining energy efficient.
"We designed a material that can release the CO2 by irradiating the material with light, so there's no energy penalty anymore because light is abundant," Wriedt said.
Read the paper at http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.chemmater.6b03224 .
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Photo caption: From left to right, Clarkson University chemistry Ph.D. student Darpandeep Aulakh of Amritsar, India; Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biomolecular Science Mario Wriedt; and computer science graduate student Wen An of Fuyang, China.
[Photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/wriedt-acs.jpg ]