Metal-Organic Frameworks - Colloidal Assembly and Hierarchical Structuring

Metal-organic frameworks refer to a class of crystalline materials built up from inorganic nodes (comprising of either metal ions or polynuclear metal clusters) and organic multidentate ligands which link these nodes to create either one, two or three-dimensional coordination polymers. We are interested in developing processing tools for controlling the multi-length scale assembly and structuring of MOFs and their composites. 


Methods of controlling MOF crystal morphology, from nanoseeds to microneedles to mushroom-shaped structures with oil-repelling features have been explored. We are now looking into colloidal assembly and macrostructuring of MOF composites using magnetic and electric fields. Stay tuned for the latest work! 

Gold Nanoparticles and MOFs for Optical Applications

We are currently developing novel materials for optical applications, working closely with our colleagues in Physics to develop chiroptical meta materials as well as MOFs for optical and sensing applications. In particular, we synthesise AuNPs stabilized by chiral N-heterocyclic carbene ligands and study their resulting chirality, optical properties and stability, as well as their self-assembly. We are well-versed in the design and preparation of chiral ligands based on ultra-short peptides and amino acids and utilise these molecules for the stabilization and assembly of metallic nanoparticles. 

Nanoparticles and MOFs for Biological Applications

We are working on stimuli responsive materials for biological applications. These materials are made through self-assembly of small biocompatible building blocks, allowing to tailor the properties of the resulting materials towards specific applications ranging from ranging from injectable to topical applicaions.

Smart composites and coatings

We are working on smart composites that are capable of self-healing, dissipating impact energy, and ice-phobic, so as to create coatings that are resistant to erosion and ice-accretion. We also interested in the development of coatings with high/low adhesion and using them for processing applications. We work with industrial partners such as Graphitene and Photocentric and we are committed to catalysing research breakthroughs by exploiting physicochemical interactions at interfaces for the development of materials with novel and improved properties. 

External Collaborators

Prof. Rainer E. Glaser (University of Missouri)
Prof. Arnout Imhof (Utrecht University)
Prof. Stephen Liddle (University of Manchester)
Prof. Jin-Chong Tan (University of Oxford)
Dr. Thomas Bennett (University of Cambridge)
Dr. Christopher Serpell (University of Kent)
Dr. Valeska Ting (University of Bristol)

Industrial Partners

Photocentric 3D