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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S021124/1
Title: Metal-organic nanosheets: a programmable two-dimensional platform for multistep catalysis
Principal Investigator: Foster, Dr JA
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: New Investigator Award
Starts: 05 August 2019 Ends: 04 September 2023 Value (£): 385,936
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Catalysis & Applied Catalysis Chemical Synthetic Methodology
Co-ordination Chemistry Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
05 Dec 2018 EPSRC Physical Sciences - December 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Two-dimensional nanomaterials such as graphene hold enormous potential for use in advanced electronics, energy, separation and composite materials applications. However, the simple chemical composition of many of these materials (e.g. boron nitride, molybdenum disulfide and transition metal dichalcogenides) mean small changes in their composition can disrupt their two-dimensional structure making it difficult to optimise their chemical, electronic, optical and mechanical properties performance for use in many applications.

Metal-organic nanosheets (MONs) are an emerging class of graphene-like two-dimensional nanomaterials. MONs combine the diversity of organic compounds with the unique properties of metal ions in a modular way that allows their properties to be tuned systematically. They can be dispersed in solvents to create stable suspensions which exposes their surface functionalities allowing them to interact with molecules in solution. Their very high surface area, readily tunable chemistry and the ease with which they can be recovered from reaction solvents by centrifugation make MONs ideal candidates for use as catalysts. Moreover, the periodic array of functional groups presented on the surface of MONs creates new opportunities for spatially organising multiple active groups to work together to catalyse reactions.

During this research project we will develop MONs as a new platform for catalysis. We will create MONs that form stable suspensions in reaction solvents at high concentrations and that can be functionalised with multiple catalytic active sites at well-defined positions. This will enable the formation of sophisticated active sites to facilitate reactions taking place at lower temperatures, It will also allow "one pot" catalysis of multiple reaction steps reducing the waste generated in purifying the compounds. The development of MONs as a new platform for catalysis will therefore enable the synthesis of new products in a more environmentally sustainable manner.

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Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk