The realization of porous molecular solids (e.g. MOFs/COFs) whose properties (e.g. conductivity, color, phase) are responsive to external stimuli is vital for their adoption into next-generation devices. We are synthesizing such responsive materials and characterizing their unique electronic and optical properties using specialized in situ spectroscopic tools. Notably, we are pioneering the development of gas-phase methods to synthesize large, high-quality single crystals of porous molecular solids, and are using single crystal device measurements to gain detailed insight into their unique electronic structure. These studies pave the way for advanced sensors, actuators, and energy storage solutions.
2D materials (e.g. transition-metal dichalcogenides, graphene, and analogous atomic monolayers) are a versatile platform for novel optical, electronic, catalytic, and quantum device studies. We are developing new synthetic breakthroughs allowing for preparation of low-dimensional materials with tunable morphologies and phases, and, thereby, tunable properties. Notably, we have recently dedicated significant effort to the development of “designer surfaces” on which to grow novel low-dimensional materials with anomalous properties. These studies enable a host of future research efforts in electronics and quantum computing.
Multi-component nanostructures support unique and advanced optoelectronic, thermal, and catalytic properties, but are challenging to synthesize. We are developing solution-phase methods that utilize porous ionic solids as precursors for synthesis of complex nanomaterials. Notably, we prepare nanoscale dimers and multimers with atomically precise interfaces and use these constructs to control optical properties and chemical reaction pathways at the nanoscale. These studies advance our understanding of photo-induced chemical reactions and accelerate development of new catalysts.