School of Physical and Chemical Sciences Te Kura Matū Seminar Series

MOFs as synthetic tools and for catalysis


Professor Christopher Sumby, Deputy Dean of Research and Professor of Chemistry


University of Adelaide

Time & Place

Fri, 07 Dec 2018 11:00:00 NZDT in Room 701, Level 7, West Building

All are welcome


Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a class of crystalline materials assembled from chemically mutable building blocks which possess large, available surface areas and interconnected pore volumes.[1]  These crystalline scaffolds facilitate the precise site-isolated integration of reagents or catalytically active centres, and provide facile diffusion of reactant and product through the connected pore network of the material.  This might allow them to be employed as synthetic tools or used as catalysts. 

One particular area of interest in our group is the ability to “heterogenise” known homogenous catalysts.[2, 3]  Another strategy to develop biocatalysts is to use MOFs as a coating to protect enzymes thereby enabling them to survive non biocompatible conditions of elevated temperatures, denaturing agents or proteolytic enzymes.[4] 

This presentation will outline highlights of our recent work using MOF in synthesis and catalysis and summarise some of our key findings with respect to MOF catalysis.  The synthesis of MOFs possessing key precursors to important catalytic moieties will be discussed, as will approaches to install the active metal centres pre- and post-MOF synthesis.  Examples of using MOFs for reagent delivery and to understand heterogeneous catalysis will be highlighted,[3] as will strategies to develop MOF biocatalysis.[4]


[1]        H. Furukawa, K.E. Cordova, M. O'Keeffe, O.M. Yaghi, Science, 2013, 341, 974.

[2]        a) D. Rankine, A. Avellaneda, M. R. Hill, C. J. Doonan, C. J. Sumby, Chem. Comm. 2012, 48, 10328-10330.  b) W. M. Bloch, A. Burgun, C. J. Coghlan, R. Lee, M. L. Coote, C. J. Doonan and C. J. Sumby, Nat. Chem., 2014, 6, 906-912.

[3]        a) A. Burgun, R. S. Crees, M. L. Cole, C. J. Doonan and C. J. Sumby, Chem. Commun., 2014, 50, 11760-11763. b) A. Burgun, C. J. Coghlan, D. M. Huang, W. Chen, S. Horike, S. Kitagawa, J. F. Alvino, G. F. Metha, C. J. Sumby and C J. Doonan, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2017, 56, 8412-8416.

 [4]        a) W. Liang, R. Ricco, N. K. Maddigan, R. P. Dickinson, H. Xu, Q. Li, C. J. Sumby, S. G. Bell, P. Falcaro, C. J. Doonan, Chem. Mater., 2018, 30, 1069-1077. b) N. K. Maddigan, A. Tarzia, D. M. Huang, C. J. Sumby, S. G. Bell, P. Falcaro and C. J. Doonan, Chem. Sci., 2018, 9, 4217-4223.


All Welcome


Christopher Sumby is Deputy Dean - Research and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Adelaide where he undertakes research into the synthesis and properties of nanomaterials to address energy and environmental challenges. Prof. Sumby has been awarded various fellowships and awards, including an ARC Future Fellowship (2009), a South Australian Young Tall Poppy Award (2009) and a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science International Invitational Fellowship (2014). Prof. Sumby is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Advanced Nanomaterials at the University of Adelaide where key research themes include Chemical and Electrical Energy Storage; Energy Waste Management; Heterogeneous Catalysis; and Nanoporous materials for Gas Separations. Prof. Sumby also directs the Bragg Crystallography Facility, the X-ray diffraction centre at the University of Adelaide.