MA RESEARCH GROUP
 
 
home members publications gallery links
       
 
 
 

We are a synthetic inorganic and organic materials research group focusing on task-specific design and functionalization of advanced porous materials. The space within nanoporous materials provides virtually unlimited room for imagination, allowing designed incorporation of different functionalities for numerous potential applications. The research of our group aims to engineering the nanospace of advanced porous materials for energy/environmental/biological-related applications centered on the following topics:

 

1. Rational design and functionalization of MOF materials

  2. Exploration of mesoporous MOFs as a new type of platform for enzyme/protein immobilization
  3. Development of functional porphyrin-based framework materials
  4. Task-specific design and functionalization of POP materials
  5. Targeted synthesis of microporous carbon and nanostructured materials
     
 
 

1. Rational design and functionalization of MOF materials

 
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are highly crystalline inorganic-organic hybrids, and they are constructed by assembling metal ions or metal-containing clusters with multidentate organic ligands via coordination bonds into a three-dimensional structure. Our interest lies in rational design and functionalization of MOFs for applications in heterogeneous catalysis and small molecular recognition including the employment of custom-designed ligands to construct functional MOFs, the development of new methodologies to encapsulate functionalized species into the nanospace of MOFs, and the development of MOFs as a new type of sloid acid catalysts.
 
 
Representative publications: Angew Chem. Int. Ed., 2014, 53, 2615-2619 (pdf); J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2014, 136, 1202-1205 (pdf); J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137, 4243-4248 (pdf). Up
     
  2. Exploration of mesoporous MOFs as a new type of platform for enzyme/protein immobilization
 
Enzymes are becoming increasingly important in sustainable technology and green chemistry due to their wide applications in various fields such as pharmaceuticals, chemical/fine-chemical syntheses, food industries, biosensors, biofuel cells, nanobioelectronics, etc. However, the application of enzymes in those fields, particularly as biocatalysts that feature high reactivity, selectivity, and specificity under mild conditions, is usually hampered by their low operational stability, difficult recovery, and lack of reusability. Immobilization of enzymes/proteins on solid supports can enhance enzyme stability as well as facilitate separation and recovery for reuse while maintaining activity and selectivity. Mesoporous MOFs (mesoMOFs) merit high surface areas and pore walls composed of functional organic groups which could afford specific interactions with protein/enzyme molecules thus avoiding leaching. This makes them very promising to be developed as a new type of host matrix materials to immobilize proteins/enzymes for biocatalysis applications.
 
 
Representative publications: J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 10382-10385 (pdf); J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2012, 134, 13188-13191 (pdf). Up
     
 
3. Development of functional porphyrin-based framework materials
 
Porphyrin/metalloporphyrins are one of the cornerstones on which the existence of life is based, and essential biochemical, enzymatic, and photochemical functions depend on the special properties of the tetrapyrrolic macrocycle. Given the ubiquitous biological functions of metalloporphyrins in nature (for example light-harvesting, oxygen transportation and catalysis), building coordination architectures using custom-designed porphyrin ligands becomes exceedingly desirable in pursuance of mimicking their diverse biological functionalities. Our focus lies in rationally designing porphyrin-based framework materials inlcuding metal-metalloporphyrin frameworks (MMPFs), porous covalent porphyrin frameworks (PCPFs) followed by developing them for applications in heterogeneous catalysis, photocatalysis, light harvesting, etc.
 
 
Representative publications: J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133, 16322-16325 (pdf); Angew Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 10082-10085 (pdf); Chem. Mater. 2014, 26, 1639-1644 (pdf); Chem. Soc. Rev., 2014, 43, 5841-5866 (pdf). Up
   

  4. Task-specific design and functionalization of POP materials
 
Porous organic polymers (POPs) have recently been advanced as a new type of porous materials for various applications. Compared with crystalline MOFs, POPs feature robust covalent framework structures with high water/chemical stabilities, albeit most of them are amorphous. Our focus of this research theme lies in task-specific design and functionalization of POPs for applications in gas storage/separation, heterogeneous catalysis, ion exchange, and water decontamination/air purification.
 
  Representative publication: J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2014, 136, 8654-8660 (pdf); Chem. Commun. 2014, 50, 8507-8510 (pdf); Nat. Commun. 2014, 5, 5537 (pdf); Chem. Sci., 2016, 7, 2138-2144 (pdf). Up
     
  5. Targeted synthesis of microporous carbon and nanostructured materials
 
Porous carbons and nanostructred materials represent important classes of materials and have been widely utilized for a range of applications. Our interest lies in the employment of MOFs and POPs as precursors for the synthesis of microporous carbon materials and nanostructred oxide materials for applications in fuel cells, carbon capture, and energy storage.
 
 
Representative publication:Chem. Eur. J. 2011, 17, 2063-2067 (pdf); CrystEngComm, 2015, 17, 10-22 ( pdf). Up
   
Representative publications: Chem. Eur. J. 2011, 17, 2063-2067; CrystEngComm, 2014, DOI: C4CE01499E.