1990 …2023
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Personal profile

Research interests

Research in the Burrows group focuses on the synthesis and study of materials that form extended network structures. Over the past ten years, much of our effort has been focussed on metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which are a class of coordination network with the potential for porosity, though we are also devoting effort to porous organic materials. 

Our research lies within several overlapping areas:

  • Post-synthetic modification.  This is a methodology whereby a pre-formed MOF is converted into a different MOF by a further reaction. At its most powerful, the modified MOF cannot be made directly, which makes post-synthetic modification the only way to prepare many functionalised MOFs. We are seeking to extend the scope of the post-synthetic modification methodology by undertaking new reactions on MOFs, and looking to use the modified MOFs in a variety of applications, including catalysis and selective gas adsorption.
  • Mixed-ligand MOFs.  We are interested in preparing MOFs containing more than one type of bridging ligand. We have shown that mixed-ligand MOFs can have enhanced properties over their single ligand analogues, such as being more stable to hydrolysis, and are looking to exploit this further. We are also interested in preparing and characterising MOFs with novel architectures and properties.  
  • Biologically active MOFs.  We are interested in including biologically active molecules within MOFs, either as a guest within the pores or as part of the framework, then using the MOF as a way to release the biologically active molecule in a slow, controlled manner.
  • Hydrogen storage materials.  As part of an EPSRC grant, we are looking to develop flexible porous materials for use as liners in high-pressure hydrogen cylinders. The flexibility requirement comes from the fact that the cylinder expands and contracts slightly on charging and discharging, and we are investigating composite materials based on flexible porous organic polymers together with MOFs and/or porous organic frameworks. 
  • Metastable materials.  As part of an EPSRC grant, we are developing materials that can exist in one of two states and can be switched between them using light or another stimulus. While the MOF itself can be switchable, we are currently concentrating on inclusion of switchable guests within the pores, using the MOF to shield the guest molecules from each other. 

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Oxford

Chemistry, Bachelor of Arts, University of Oxford


  • QD Chemistry
  • Porous materials
  • Metal-organic frameworks
  • Coordination chemistry

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Projects 2005 2023

Research Output 1990 2019

2 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Assessment of the long-term stability of the polymer of intrinsic microporosity PIM-1 for hydrogen storage applications

Rochat, S., Polak-Kraśna, K., Tian, M., Mays, T., Bowen, C. & Burrows, A., 1 Jan 2019, In : International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. 44, 1, p. 332-337 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Hydrogen storage

Mixed matrix membranes based on MIL-101 metal–organic frameworks in polymer of intrinsic microporosity PIM-1

Khdhayyer, M., Bushell, A. F., Budd, P. M., Attfield, M. P., Jiang, D., Burrows, A. D., Esposito, E., Bernardo, P., Monteleone, M., Fuoco, A., Clarizia, G., Bazzarelli, F., Gordano, A. & Jansen, J. C., 1 Apr 2019, In : Separation and Purification Technology. 212, p. 545-554 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nanoporous polymer-based composites for enhanced hydrogen storage

Tian, M., Rochat, S., Polak-Kraśna, K., Holyfield, L. T., Burrows, A. D., Bowen, C. R. & Mays, T. J., 15 May 2019, In : Adsorption. 25, 4, p. 889-901 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
1 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
2 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)

Evaluating iodine uptake in a crystalline sponge using dynamic X-ray crystallography

Gee, W. J., Hatcher, L. E., Cameron, C. A., Stubbs, C., Warren, M. R., Burrows, A. D. & Raithby, P. R., 7 May 2018, In : Inorganic Chemistry. 57, 9, p. 4959-4965 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access


Design, synthesis and characterisation of advanced switchable functional materials

Author: Knichal, J., 23 Aug 2017

Supervisor: Wilson, C. (Supervisor), Burrows, A. (Supervisor) & Raithby, P. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Development and Optimisation of Regenerative Adsorbent Structures for Carbon Dioxide and Contaminants Removal

Author: Hong, W. Y., 27 Jun 2017

Supervisor: Perera, S. (Supervisor) & Burrows, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Functionalisation of Metal-Organic Frameworks via Post-Synthetic Modification

Author: Amer Hamzah, H., 7 Jul 2017

Supervisor: Burrows, A. (Supervisor) & Mahon, M. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Materials Based on the Polymer of Intrinsic Microporosity PIM-1 for Hydrogen Storage Applications

Author: Holyfield, L., 10 Jul 2018

Supervisor: Mays, T. (Supervisor) & Burrows, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Metal-organic frameworks: The design, synthesis and investigation of new materials

Author: Warren, A., 1 Jun 2011

Supervisor: Raithby, P. (Supervisor), Burrows, A. (Supervisor) & Mahon, M. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD