• 1 SOUTH 0.08

Accepting PhD Students

1990 …2018
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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 2018

Global Research Scholarship Scheme - Advanced Separation Processes, Renewable Feedstocks, Industrial Biotechnology (Chris Davey)

Patterson, D., Leak, D. & Burrows, A.


Project: Research-related fundingInternational Relations Office Funding

SUPERGEN Hydrogen Challenge Call

Burrows, A.


Project: Research council

Chemical engineering
Gas fuel storage
Intelligent materials
Excited states
Electronic states

Research Output 1990 2018

Hydrogen storage

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
Hydrogen storage
Open Access
Carbon Monoxide

The effect of metal distribution on the luminescence properties of mixed-lanthanide metal–organic frameworks

Cadman, L., Mahon, M. & Burrows, A. 2018 In : Dalton Transactions . 47, 7, p. 2360-2367 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Lanthanoid Series Elements