"Don't take yourself too seriously." — Arnold O. Beckman
Adam Slavney, PhD
Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow
Modular Nanocluster-Based Porous Frameworks through Large Footprint Area Ligands
Nanoclusters are very small (1 - 100 nanometers in size) particles of metals with hundreds of small organic molecules attached to their surfaces in a dense spherical shell, which keeps the nanoclusters separated from each other. Combining different types of nanoclusters can make a new kind of solid called a superlattice, in which many different metal particles can be swapped in and out and the distances between them carefully controlled, creating unusual new magnetic and optical properties. However, these superlattices are always nonporous because the large number of organic molecules on the cluster surfaces completely fills the spaces between clusters, which can limit their usefulness. My proposal is to replace the many small organic molecules on the nanocluster surface with a few very large ones, opening up gaps between nanoclusters and making the superlattice permanently porous. This porosity allows gases and small molecules to enter the superlattice and interact strongly with the nanoclusters, enabling new applications for superlattices in chemical sensing, gas separation and purification, and catalysis.
Arnold O. Beckman exemplifies the meaning of the word humanitarian. Combined with his unwavering enthusiasm for life, his keen sense of humor and his strong moral and ethical principles, he is a national icon.