Wed, Jan. 11, 2017, 3:15pm - 4:15pm
Frick Chemistry Laboratory, Taylor Auditorium
BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN MOLECULES AND MATERIALS: REDOX REACTIVITY OF MOFS AND QUANTUM DOTS
The size regime between molecules and materials remains a frontier for chemistry research. On the nanoscale, redox reactivity fades into classical electron transfer, discrete orbitals become bands, and the atomic precision of soluble catalysts blurs into a complex distribution of heterogeneous species. For nanoscale materials to perform as next-generation catalysts and device components, their redox reactivity and structure-function relationships must be understood.
Here, I will demonstrate that metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and semiconductor nanocrystals (Quantum Dots) bridge this “nanoscale gap” from opposing directions. The metal clusters of MOFs, typically viewed as benign structural supports, can be recast as tunable heterogeneous catalysts with molecular specificity. Semiconductor nanocrystals, with their ability to store many extra charges, are ideal candidates for observing the emergence of molecular redox reactivity. Potentiometric titration and spectroelectrochemical techniques correlate Fermi level energies to charge carrier densities. Together these studies illustrate the utility of a molecular perspective in designing nanoscale materials for fundamental and practical challenges.