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Alex bags Infineon Best PhD Pitch 2019

Alex bags Infineon Best PhD Pitch 2019
Alex once again showcased the power of MOFs before an interdisciplinary audience at Infineon Technologies in Austria. With this year's theme "Chip of the Future", Alex together with 7 other PhD students from Europe presented their research topic in a form of a short pitch to their peers, professors, and industry experts. The jury was convinced that the "dog's nose in your smartphones - next generation gas sensors" was the best pitch among the finalists. Infineon Technologies organized the PhD pitch as a part of the Winter School 2019 which took place in their manufacturing site in Villach from February 28 to March 1.

Collaborative work on the PSE in UiO-66

Collaborative work on the PSE in UiO-66
UiO-66 is known as one of the most robust metal-organic framework materials. Nevertheless, UiO-66 has also been shown to undergo post-synthetic exchange of structural linkers with surprising ease in some solvents. To date, the exchange mechanism has not yet been fully elucidated. Here, we show how time-resolved monitoring grants insight into the selected case of exchanging 2-minoterephthalate into UiO-66 in methanol. Analysis of both the solid and liquid phase, complemented by computational insights, revealed the active role of methanol in the creation and stabilization of dangling linkers. Similar to monocarboxylate defects that can be introduced during UiO-66 synthesis, such dangling linkers undergo fast exchange. The presence of missing linker or missing cluster defects at the start of the exchange process was shown to have no considerable impact on the equilibrium composition. After the exchange process, the incoming 2-aminoterephthalate and remaining terephthalate linkers were distributed homogeneously in the framework for the typical sub-micron size of UiO-66 crystallites. We are grateful to the concerted efforts from the excellent researchers of Ghent University and National Institute of Chemistry in Slovenia!

Review on porous organic C-based films

Review on porous organic C-based films
Our review paper on Bringing Porous Organic and Carbon‐Based Materials toward Thin‐Film Applications was accepted in Advance Functional Materials. Porous materials have attracted tremendous scientific and industrial interest due to their broad commercial applicability. However, some applications require that these materials are deposited on surfaces to create thin films. In this review, the recent progress of new porous thin‐film material classes is described: porous organic molecular materials, porous organic polymers, covalent organic frameworks, and nanoporous carbon. In each case, the state of the art and current barriers in their thin‐film fabrication, as well as intrinsic material advantages that are suited for different applications are presented. By highlighting the unique structural characteristics and properties of these materials, it is hoped that increased research development and industrial interest will be fostered, which will lead to new methods of thin‐film synthesis and consequently to new applications. This work was a successful collaboration with several european research groups.

Bart joins the group as Innovation Manager

Bart joins the group as Innovation Manager
Bart obtained his Ph.D. at KU Leuven in 2001, under the supervision of Prof. Robert Schoonheydt, with his work entitled "Composite Ultrathin Films" focused on optical applications. He has gained R&D and general management experience in the areas of surface treatments and printed materials. As innovation manager, Bart’s mission is to create value for industrial partners based on the group's research output. He will also lead the intellectual property management domain of the team.

Our work on photopatternable MOFs in ACIE

Our work on photopatternable MOFs in ACIE
Reversible Optical Writing and Data Storage in an Anthracene‐Loaded Metal‐Organic Framework The confinement of anthracene molecules in a metal-organic framework enables reversible yellow to-purple photoswitching of the fluorescence emission. The photoresponse of the host-guest system strongly relies on the unique properties of the MOF host, i.e., the pore geometry, connectivity and volume as well as the structural flexibility. The solid-state photoswitching allows the development of photopatternable, erasable and rewritable paper. Thanks to our international collaborators from KU Leuven, Kiel and Munich!

Proton-coupled electron transfer in JACS

Proton-coupled electron transfer in JACS
Our collaborative effort with the group of Dirk De Vos and James Mayer focused on proton-coupled electron transfer in MOFs: Stoichiometric proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) reactions of the metal–organic framework (MOF) MIL-125, Ti8O8(OH)4(bdc)6 (bdc = terephthalate), are described. In the presence of UV light and 2-propanol, MIL-125 was photoreduced to a maximum of 2(e–/H+) per Ti8 node. This stoichiometry was shown by subsequent titration of the photoreduced material with the 2,4,6-tri-tert-butylphenoxyl radical. This reaction occurred by PCET to give the corresponding phenol and the original, oxidized MOF. The high level of charging, and the independence of charging amount with particle size of the MOF samples, shows that the MOF was photocharged throughout the bulk and not only at the surface. NMR studies showed that the product phenol is too large to fit in the pores, so the phenoxyl reaction must have occurred at the surface. Attempts to oxidize photoreduced MIL-125 with pure electron acceptors resulted in multiple products, underscoring the importance of removing e– and H+ together. Our results require that the e– and H+ stored within the MOF architecture must both be mobile to transfer to the surface for reaction. Analogous studies on the soluble cluster Ti8O8(OOCtBu)16 support the notion that reduction occurs at the Ti8 MOF nodes and furthermore that this reduction occurs via e–/H+ (H-atom) equivalents. The soluble cluster also suggests degradation pathways for the MOFs under extended irradiation. The methods described are a facile characterization technique to study redox-active materials and should be broadly applicable to, for example, porous materials like MOFs.

Alex wins the 2018 Brussels PhD Cup!

Alex wins the 2018 Brussels PhD Cup!
With his pitch entitled "A dog's nose in your smartphones - next generation gas sensors", Alex took home the crown in the recently concluded PhD cup in Brussels. After 2 rounds of selections, Alex won the jury's choice, besting 7 other finalists from the natural sciences and engineering, medicine and the social sciences and law domains. The PhD cup, organized by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, challenges young scientists to translate their research to a three-minute spiel, appealing and intelligible to a wide audience of different backgrounds.

Marianne joins the group as a visiting scholar

Marianne joins the group as a visiting scholar
Marianne Kräuter will join the Ameloot Group for a month, starting October 2018. She will learn how to make ZIF-8 from ALD-deposited ZnO using different recipes, yielding a wide array of properties. Marianne recently started her PhD at the Graz University of Technology, Austria, under the co-supervision of Prof. Anna Maria Coclite and Prof. Roland Resel.

Five new PhDs join the Ameloot Group!

Five new PhDs join the Ameloot Group!
After doing their master's thesis at the Ameloot Group, five fresh Belgian researchers join the force as PhD students. They will be carrying out research on porous materials, atomic/molecular layer deposition, 3D printing for a variety of both fundamental and applied studies. (L-R) Giel, Nathalie, Pieter and Hanne received a Master's degree in Bioscience Engineering (Catalytic Technology), while Ruben (far right) was awarded with a Master in Bionanotechnology from KU Leuven in 2018. Building from their projects in the group, they will work on developing materials for catalytic, biomedical, and environmental applications.

Martin joins the group!

Martin joins the group!
The Ameloot Group welcomes its newest team member, Martin Obst. Originally from Germany, Martin studied chemistry at the Universities of Freiberg and Jena. In 2018, he obtained his doctoral degree in Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Burkhard König at the University of Regensburg, where he worked in the development of methods for solvent-free photocatalysis and organic synthesis in deep-eutectic solvents. In the Ameloot group, Martin will focus on surface coatings with ionic liquids and deep-eutectic solvents, which will then be used for certain specialized applications e.g. catalysis.

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