excitonics seminar series
"Crystalline Microporous Metal-Organic Frameworks: Opportunities in Energy Research"
April 26, 2011
3:00 - 4:00pm
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are crystalline solids wherein inorganic nodes are connected by organic ligands to give rise to highly ordered and monodisperse micropores with diameters ranging from 0.5 to ~ 2 nanometers. The micropores are responsible for unprecedented surface areas occasionally exceeding 5000 m2/g, making MOFs popular choices for energy applications in H2, CH4, and CO2 storage and capture, among others. The crystalline nature of these materials, however, also makes them attractive candidates for studying photophysical phenomena in ordered and/or confined organic chromophore aggregates. Indeed, conformational and/or structural confinement of organic dyes inside the walls of MOFs has been shown to drastically modulate the absorption and emission properties of such molecules. The various applications of MOFs in energy research, with an emphasis on their potential utility in controlling dye aggregation, light harvesting, and other photophysical properties will be discussed.
Mircea Dincă was born in Romania and obtained his bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Princeton University in 2003. He did his graduate work at UC Berkeley on the synthesis and characterization of microporous metal-organic frameworks for hydrogen storage and catalysis. After a two-year stint as a postdoctoral associate working on electrochemical water splitting with Prof. Daniel G. Nocera, he became an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at MIT in 2010. His group's research is concerned with the synthesis of new microporous materials and their physico-chemical properties, with a current emphasis on metal-organic frameworks.