MaD Lab has extensive expertise in the synthesis and characterization of porous materials namely metal-organic frameworks for advanced applications. MOFs are crystalline materials formed by a network of metal ions (or clusters) coordinated to organic ligand which are extended into three dimensions. The crystallinity, structural versatility, porosity and tailored pore surface are some of the MOFs’ key characteristics that differentiate them from other porous materials.

Taking advantage of their characteristics, within MaD Lab we aim to generate new MOF materials for:

  1. Carbon Capture– Generation of hydrophobic MOFs for the selective capture of CO2.
  2. Catalysis– Development of strategies for the conversion of CO2 into value-added products.
  3. Photocatalysis– Development of strategies to use MOFs as visible-light active photocatalysts for water splitting, CO2 photoreduction, organic substances degradation and the synthesis of new compounds.
  4. Sensing– Rational design and synthesis of MOFs with active sites for the detection of analytes present in water, air, and industrial settings.

In addition to MOF discovery, we are also interested in generating MOF-composites (combination of MOF crystals with polymers, carbon or metal-nanoparticles) and MOF-related materials (MOFs are used as sacrificial reagents for the generation of carbon or metal-nanoparticles) and testing them towards the capture of hazardous molecules such as NH3, I2, and for catalysis.

After we elucidate their structure-to-property relationship, we plan to scale up their synthesis, engineer their shape and generate MOFs in the form of beads or pellets, and integrate them on surfaces for device fabrication. We then intend to check their potential towards real-world applications.

Within MaD Lab we combine chemistry, chemical engineering, material science, surface chemistry and nanotechnology, and our overall goal is to identify solutions (discovery of materials with specific properties) to key challenges we face in our daily lives.

Keywords: design, synthesis, solid-state characterization, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), composites, sacrificial reagents, nanoparticles, carbon capture, catalysis, photocatalysis, sensing, device fabrication, large scale synthesis.