Hutchison Hall, Rochester, NY

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Join us to hear from Jarad Mason about his 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. 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. I will highlight the structural and chemical factors that influence relationships between pressure and the thermodynamics and kinetics of these high-entropy phase transitions in the solid state. Second, I will describe a new approach to storing and releasing 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 in aqueous environments, which has exciting implications for overcoming gas transport limitations in a variety of aqueous environments. 

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  • Chenfei Tang

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