Hani El-Kaderi research group entails the design and synthesis of low density and highly porous polymers for use in a wide range of applications including hydrogen storage, catalysis, and sensing. In particular, we are interested in developing new methods to dope porous organic and inorganic polymers with various metals and study their impact on hydrogen storage and various catalytic processes. For example, recent theoretical studies on metal-doped fullerenes showed that such structures exhibit significant hydrogen uptake and therefore represent good candidates as host-materials for hydrogen for future use in clean energy applications. However, synthetic routes to such materials are very challenging and this area remains fairly undeveloped.
El-Kaderi research group will focus on new synthetic strategies to overcome metal-cluster formation and uncontrolled doping levels that can lead to a significantly improved H2 uptake. Our research in this field requires students to master several skills including material design and modeling, synthesis of organic and inorganic compounds, and a variety of characterization techniques including NMR, PXRD, SEM, TEM, etc
Another research domain of interest is the use of designed polydentate ligands to stabilize metals from the d- and f-blocks for use in catalytic processes such as ethylene polymerization or the activation and functionalization of small molecules like CO2 and N2. Research projects in this area will focus on the design of new pincer- and ansa-type ligands to allow for electronic and steric profile manipulation about metal centers to tune their reactivity. In addition, the inclusion of tethered functional groups in the ligand backbone should provide convenient routes for catalyst immobilization on surfaces for catalyst recovery and reuse.
1001 West Main Street
P.O. Box 842006
Richmond, Virginia 23284
+1 (804) 828-7505