at the Georgia Institute of Technology





 Research Program


Current research directions in our group are illustrated below. Visit the Publications page for reports of our latest research on these topics.


 Metal-Organic Framework (MOF) Materials

MOFs are a structurally diverse class of nanoporous materials assembled from metallic and organic constituents. Our research aims to develop a platform of highly tunable MOF materials that can be applied for a range of molecular separation processes. One important class of such materials are the mixed-linker ZIF materials, which are being extensively studied in our group. Some recent advances are depicted below:


J. A. Thompson, N. A. Brunelli, R. P. Lively, J. R. Johnson, C. W. Jones, S. Nair, "Tunable CO2 Adsorbents by Mixed-Linker Synthesis and Postsynthetic Modification of Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks", Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 117(16), p. 8198-8207 (2013). PDF Link

J. A. Thompson, C. R. Blad, N. A. Brunelli, M. E. Lydon, R. P. Lively, C. W. Jones, S. Nair, "Hybrid Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks: Controlling Framework Porosity and Functionality by Mixed-Linker Synthesis", Chemistry of Materials, 24(10), p. 1930-1936 (2012). PDF Link


 Scalable Molecular Sieve Membranes

Molecular sieving nanoporous (MOF, zeolite) membranes have great potential for advanced separations and catalysis in the petrochemicals, biofuels, and biobased-chemical sectors. Our research aims to develop economical MOF membrane-based separation technologies via scalable processing strategies, in combination with detailed experimental and computational investigations of synthesis-structure-property relationships.Some recent advances are depicted below:


A. J. Brown, J. R. Johnson, M. E. Lydon, W. J. Koros, C. W. Jones, S. Nair, "Continuous Polycrystalline Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework-90 (ZIF-90) Membranes on Polymeric Hollow Fibers", Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 124, p. 10767-10770 (2012). PDF

 Nanoporous 2D Materials (N2DMs) and Membranes

Nanoporous 2D Materials (N2DMs) combine many of the desirable structural features of 3D molecular sieves like zeolites, but have other important advantages. N2DMs are obtained in the form of 2D nanoporous sheets which can be exfoliated and used as high-surface area adsorbents and catalysts, or as ultra-thin molecular sieving layers. We aim to obtain novel N2DM structures/morphologies as well as further their applications as membranes, adsorbents, and catalysts. Some recent advances are depicted below:


W.-G. Kim, J. S. Lee, D. G. Bucknall, W. J. Koros, S. Nair, "Nanoporous Layered Silicate AMH-3/Cellulose Acetate Nanocomposite Membranes for Gas Separations”, Journal of Membrane Science, 441, p. 129-136 (2013). PDF


W. G. Kim, X. Zhang, J. S. Lee, M. Tsapatsis, S. Nair, "Epitaxially Grown Layered MFI-Bulk MFI Hybrid Zeolitic Materials", ACS Nano, 6(11), p. 9978-9988 (2012). PDF Link


 Metal Oxide Nanotubes and Membranes

We are developing a mechanistic and engineering basis for the construction of 1-D nanoscopic objects through solution-phase chemistry. The ultimate goal is the ability to produce objects such as single-walled nanotubes with precisely tailored dimensions, shapes, and functionalities.
We conduct synthetic and mechanistic investigations to develop new processing routes as well as molecular-level insights into nanotube formation. We also investigate novel functionalized or hybridized nanotube materials, and nanotube membranes. Some recent advances are depicted below:


G. I. Yucelen, D.-Y. Kang, R. C. Guerrero-Ferreira, E. R. Wright, H. W. Beckham, S. Nair, "Shaping Single-Walled Metal Oxide Nanotubes from Precursors of Controlled Curvature", Nano Letters, 12 (2), p. 827-832 (2012). PDF Link



D.-Y. Kang, N. A. Brunelli, G. I. Yucelen, A. Venkatasubramanian, J. Zang, J. Leisen, P. J. Hesketh, C. W. Jones, S. Nair, "Direct Synthesis of Single-Walled Aminoaluminosilicate Nanotubes with Enhanced Molecular Adsorption Selectivity", Nature Communications, 5, 3342 (2014). PDF