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Research interests

Research in the Burrows group focuses on the synthesis and study of materials that form extended network structures. Over the past fifteen 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.
  • 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.  Current work includes using porous materials to control the release of semiochemicals such as pheromones.
  • Hydrogen storage materials.  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. 

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Oxford

Award Date: 7 Jan 1992

Chemistry, Bachelor of Arts, University of Oxford

Award Date: 29 May 1988

Keywords

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

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