Understanding and Controlling Metal Organic Framework Formation as Crystals, Thin Films and Composites


Understanding and Controlling Metal Organic Framework Formation as Crystals, Thin Films and Composites

Gaurav Giri, Ph.D., University of Virginia

11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., February 8, 2022   |   107 Hesburgh Library, Carey Auditorium

Porous coordination polymers, including metal-organic frameworks, hold incredible potential to impact numerous technologies. The wide breadth of applications includes charge and ion transport membranes, separation membranes, hydrogen, and natural gas storage, drug delivery, sensors, ‘self-cleaning’ surfaces, etc. However, the current technological impact of these materials is muted due to the lack of understanding of fundamental theories behind MOF crystallization as composites and as thin films. Many potential applications require MOFs to be created as thin films or as composites, with fine control over morphologies, aspect ratios, or integration with polymers.

Gaurav Giri
Prof. Gaurav Giri

We will show that the investigation of MOF crystallization, guided by a combination of chemistry, fluid dynamics, and crystallization theories, will allow us to discover new design rules to create rapid, uniform, and high-quality thin films and composites. Using evaporative crystallization during flow coating, large area, pinhole-free thin films of multiple prototypical MOFs can be created. In addition, the use of nucleation zones can be utilized to control the placement and patterning of MOFs. MOF-based polymer composites can be similarly made through crystallization control. Finally, a combination of in-situ grazing incidence X-ray scattering and diffraction combined with reaction kinetics modeling will be used to probe the intricacies of MOF crystallization.

Prof. Giri graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Caltech in 2008, and was awarded a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 2013 from Stanford University, working on the crystallization control of organic semiconductors for flexible electronic applications. His postdoctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology focused on the use of microfluidics and continuous flow processing for pharmaceutical industry. He has been a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Virginia since 2016, where his research group is focused on studying the fundamental processes behind organic molecule and metal organic framework thin film crystallization, and related applications. His current work focuses on the use of MOFs for air filters, catalysts, separation membranes and for drug delivery applications, as well as pharmaceutical molecules and organic electronics.