Adsorption, Interfacial Chemistry, and Chemistry of Materials with Ordered and Disordered Nanoporosity
Research interests and activities of Professor Jaroniec and his group revolve primarily around interdisciplinary topics of interfacial chemistry, and chemistry of materials with ordered and disordered nanoporosity with a special emphasis placed on physical adsorption at the gas/solid and liquid/solid interfaces, as well as synthesis, modification and characterization of ordered and disordered nanoporous materials. His research covers such diverse topics as: (a) thermodynamics of adsorption processes at the gas/solid and liquid/solid interfaces, (b) elaboration of advanced methods for analyzing the surface heterogeneity and porosity of adsorbents, catalysts, photocatalysts and other nanoporous materials, (c) development of carbonaceous, siliceous, polymeric, inorganic oxide and hybrid organic-inorganic nanoporous materials, including chemically modified solids and ordered mesoporous materials for adsorption, catalysis, photocatalysis, energy and environmental applications, and (d) synthesis and modification of various nanoparticles such as carbon and silica spheres, and core-shell particles. Although in his laboratory the main emphasis is placed on the use of adsorption, thermal analysis, powder X-ray diffraction, scanning and transmission electron microscopy for studying nanoporous materials, other methods such as solid-state NMR and infrared spectroscopy are also used to enrich information about surface and structural properties of these materials.
The current research of Dr. Jaroniec and his group includes the synthesis, modification, characterization, and applications of novel ordered mesoporous materials (OMM) such as surfactant- and polymer-templated ordered silicas, organosilicas and inorganic oxides, ordered mesoporous carbons, colloid-imprinted and templated materials. The area of ordered nanoporous materials has been growing remarkably since 1992, when the first hexagonally ordered mesoporous material, MCM-41, synthesized via self-assembly of silica and surfactant species, was reported. The pore size of OMM can be tailored over the entire range of mesopores by adjusting the size and chemical nature of the template (surfactants, block copolymers, colloids), adding molecular expanders and performing various post-synthesis treatments. In addition, incorporation of different inorganic and/or organic species via one-pot synthesis and/or post-synthesis modification can be employed to alter the surface properties of OMM. The aforementioned framework and surface modifications can be used to develop novel functionalized mesoporous materials with tailored pore sizes and surface properties for adsorption, catalysis, environmental and energy-related applications.