Second Place - Gokhan Barin

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry

“Porous Crystals Powering Our Future”

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are porous crystalline structures with high surface areas. These features make MOFs ideal candidates for gas storage (e.g., hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and natural gas), which is of great importance for our energy future and environment.

Barin and his colleagues are working to develop highly stable MOFs for storing natural gas (methane) in vehicles. The presence of MOFs can significantly reduce the pressure within the gas tank without reducing the tank’s capacity. Because of this, tanks do not need to be as large and thick, and require less space in mid-sized cars, thereby lowering production costs. In this image, MOFs (blue) made from a mixture of an organic compound and copper salt sit in an organic solvent (white).

Technique: Optical microscopy, no false coloring