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Join us to hear about Jarad Mason's research at Harvard!

Abstract: Materials that undergo phase transitions in response to specific stimuli and that contain pores tailored to interact with specific guest molecules offer unique opportunities for addressing many important global challenges. Here, I will describe two recent examples of how phase-change materials and microporous materials can be leveraged for a range of energy and biomedical applications, including sustainable heat pumps, electrocatalysis, organ preservation, bioreactors, and in vivo gas delivery. First, I will discuss how hydrocarbon order–disorder phase transitions in layered organic and metal–organic materials can be manipulated to drive large barocaloric effects—thermal changes induced by hydrostatic pressure—in a new class of solid refrigerants. Second, I will describe a new approach to transporting gas molecules in aqueous solutions that overcomes limitations associated with the low solubility of nearly all gases in water. Specifically, I will show how aqueous solutions of microporous nanocrystals can be designed with low viscosities, long-term colloidal stability, and micropores that remain permanently dry even when surrounded by liquid water. This allows high densities of gas molecules, including oxygen, to be stored and released within aqueous environments.

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