PI: Mark Snyder

Co-PI(s): Srinivas Rangarajan

University: Lehigh University

The burgeoning class of crystalline covalent organic frameworks (COFs) offers a tantalizing platform for the bottom-up design and synthesis of porous materials with precisely tailored pore size and topology, composition, and function. Realizing simultaneous control over these properties holds promise for transforming the efficiency and specificity with which COFs interact with molecular guests, thereby offering unprecedented control of reactions under confinement and enabling highly selective and efficient molecular separations among numerous other applications. This project will develop critical synthesis-structure-functions relations for the rational design of functionalized COFs tailored specifically for confined acid catalysis and selective acid gas (e.g., CO2, NOx, H2S) capture—key industrial applications at the center of critical advances in the energy and environment sectors. Namely, comprehensive materials synthesis, characterization, and testing, informed by molecular scale simulations aimed at identifying candidate functional groups, will help establish pre- and post-synthetic routes for tailoring pore function with molecular scale resolution. Application of the resulting approach toward the selective functionalization of distinct pores within a new class of tri-porous COFs should lead to unique multi-functional catalysts and sorbents. In addition to establishing industrially relevant materials, the proposed work aims to simultaneously provide insight into fundamental design questions surrounding:

  1. synergies between pore confinement and function on catalysis and adsorption
  2. building block functionality on assembly and COF crystallization