Science and Engineering

Oregon State University

P. Alex Greaney
Corvallis, OR
$1,000,000
December 2013

This project aims to engender a new class of responsive materials that change their shape and porosity by exposure to sunlight.  To realize this, the team will develop a novel design led approach to materials development that allies materials science and engineering design theory in order to systematically invent rather than discover new materials.  These materials are able to shape-shift as a result of their molecular architecture, which is based on metal organic frameworks, and are designed to act as a giant stochastic molecular linkage actuated by photoisomerization.  A major challenge that must be overcome is the geometric constraint that the framework imposes on the photoisomerizing actuators.  In this approach the team looks beyond this challenge and seeks to use constraint to an advantage – enabling them to tune previously immutable properties of the photoisomers such as their energy conversion efficiency.  They envision this new material class as enabling diverse applications with significant and lasting societal impact such as self-squeezing hydrogen sponges, active filtration and catalysis, gas separation and C02 capture, environmental monitoring, and solar energy conversion and storage.

Site design: <a href="http://www.formativegroup.com/">Formative Inc.</a>