Ana Platero-Prats: Following Chemistry and Catalysis in Metal-Organic Frameworks using X-ray Characterization Tools: My pathway from chemist to materials scientist
This seminar will explore the use of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) as platforms for developing catalysts à la carte. MOFs are crystalline materials composed of isolated metal-oxide clusters connected through organic ligands. These frameworks offer a vast variety of architectures and porosities, and are highly functionable. Being that MOF properties are strongly linked to their chemical composition, chemists have pursued reaching control over MOF chemistry for the ultimate use of these materials in catalysis. We have recently demonstrated that, beyond a trial-and-error approach, MOFs design can be computationally guided.
However, many aspects regarding the local structural nature of catalytic sites in MOFs, as in many other related materials, remain poorly understood at a fundamental level. MOFs have shown to be unsuspectedly dynamic. MOFs have been commonly regarded as static frameworks, mostly driven by a traditional understanding of crystallinity. I will describe how this idea is incomplete and need to be rethought. What is the real structure of catalysts under operando conditions? How dynamic are these materials? Which are the local and long-range distortions and rearrangements with ultimate implications in catalysis and other applications? Using advanced X-ray characterization tools we can look at the atomic structure of materials operando, providing a more realistic picture and a better understanding of these materials under conditions relevant for applications.
 Bernales, V.; League, A.B.; Li, Z.; Schweitzer, N. M.; Peters, A. W.; Carlson, R. K.; Hupp, J. T.; Cramer, C. J.; Farha, O. K.; Gagliardi, L. J. Phys. Chem. C, 2016, 120 (41), pp 23576–23583.
 Platero-Prats, A. E.; Mavrandonakis, A.; Gallington, L. C.; Liu, Z.; Hupp, J. T.; Farha, O. K.; Cramer, C. J.; Chapman, K. W. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2016, 138 (12), pp 4178–4185
Argonne National Laboratory
Dr. Platero-Prats is currently a researcher at the Argonne National Laboratory. Her main current research interest is to study how clusters and molecules change under conditions relevant for catalysis by applying advanced synchrotron techniques. She has more than 10 years of research experience in the field of metal-organic frameworks and related materials for energy-related applications. She has 5 years of postdoctoral experience in highly recognized international institutions, both in USA and EU (Stockholm University). Dr Platero-Prats has developed a unique portfolio of scientific and technical competences, including the use of cutting-edge operando synchrotron techniques. She has developed independent thinking and leadership qualities, reflected by her high quality international scientific training, networking and organizational skills.
Dr. Platero-Prats is co-author of 34 research papers, all of them in high impact journals (including ACS Central Science, 7 J. Am. Chem. Soc., Adv. Mat. (invited review), among others). Her work has received more than 1375 citations and her current h-index is 14. She is co-inventor of 2 patents as a main author. She has been awarded with multiple grants and awards to recognize talented junior researchers, including best Ph.D. thesis award from the Spanish Royal Society of chemistry and the prestigious Beatriu de Pinos grant from the European Research Council.