Fifth Place - Jiayan Luo

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Graduate Student, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are crystalline compounds that contain holes of the same size. The holes can be used for the storage of gases such as hydrogen for clean energy and carbon dioxide for environmental protection. They are also useful in gas purification and drug delivery. MOFs are typically randomly shaped and large in size. But, Luo’s group is developing a way to synthesize MOFs into microscopic spheres. The spherical shape allows for minimum contact area, which means the MOFs will stay evenly dispersed in solvents for processing.

This image shows microscopic, sphere-shaped MOFs floating in a solvent.