Jeffery Reimer is a scientist in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, and UC Berkeley.
Scientists would like to apply the same principles by which baking soda removes food odors from refrigerators or silica powder keeps moisture away from electronic devices to scrub carbon dioxide from the exhaust gases of fossil fuel power plants. An excellent candidate for this task is the class of materials known as multivariate metal organic frameworks or MTV-MOFs, which were discovered by Omar Yaghi, one of the world's most cited chemists. However, finding and synthesizing the best MTV-MOFs for this task has been a major challenge. That discouraging state-of-affairs is about to change.
Yaghi and a team of researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC)Berkeley that included Jeffrey Reimer and Berend Smit have developed a method that accurately predicts the adsorptive properties of crystalline MTV-MOF systems synthesized with different combinations of functional chemical groups.
"By combining solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements with molecular-level computational simulations we've identified a strategy for determining the underlying structure of MTV-MOFs that can help optimize function," says Reimer, who holds joint appointments with Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division and UC Berkeley's Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department and is an NMR expert. "Our method is a first step in resolving the more general problem of spatial disorder in other ordered materials, including mesoporous materials, functionalized polymers and defect distributions within crystalline solids."
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