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Algorithm Identifies Optimal Pairs for Composing Metal-Organic Frameworks
The integration of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and other metal nanoparticles has increasingly led to the creation of new multifunctional materials. Many researchers have integrated MOFs with other classes of materials to produce new structures with synergetic properties. Despite there being over 70,000 collections of synthesized MOFs that can be used as building blocks, the precise nature of the interaction and the bonding at the interface between the two materials still remains unknown. The question is how to sort out the right matching pairs out of 70,000 MOFs. An algorithmic study published in Nature Communications by a KAIST research team presents a clue for finding the perfect pairs. The team, led by Professor Ji-Han Kim from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, developed a joint computational and experimental approach to rationally design MOF@MOFs, a composite of MOFs where an MOF is grown on a different MOF. Professor Kim’s team, in collaboration with UNIST, noted that the metal node of one MOF can coordinately bond with the linker of a different MOF and the precisely matched interface configurations at atomic and molecular levels can enhance the likelihood of synthesizing MOF@MOFs. They screened thousands of MOFs and identified optimal MOF pairs that can seamlessly connect to one another by taking advantage of the fact that the metal node of one MOF can form coordination bonds with the linkers of the second MOF. Six pairs predicted from the computational algorithm successfully grew into single crystals. This computational workflow can readily extend into other classes of materials and can lead to the rapid exploration of the composite MOFs arena for accelerated materials development. Even more, the workflow can enhance the likelihood of synthesizing MOF@MOFs in the form of large single crystals, and thereby demonstrated the utility of rationally designing the MOF@MOFs. This study is the first algorithm for predicting the synthesis of composite MOFs, to the best of their knowledge. Professor Kim said, “The number of predicted pairs can increase even more with the more general 2D lattice matching, and it is worth investigating in the future.” This study was supported by Samsung Research Funding & Incubation Center of Samsung Electronics. (Figure: An example of a rationally synthesized MOF@MOFs (cubic HKUST-1@MOF-5 ))
Open Online Course in Science and Technology, STAR-MOOC
Four universities specializing in science and technology, along with POSTECH and UST, teamed up to establish programs for innovation in education programs, responding to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. KAIST held an opening ceremony for the Science & Technology Advanced Research - Massive Open Online Course (STAR-MOOC) and signed an MoU with GIST, DGIST, UNIST, POSTECH, and UST. STAR-MOOC was launched on February 26 to provide educational service to the public. It is a joint platform where people can take courses featuring lectures from professors from universities specializing in science and technology as well as national research universities. It offers 15 courses covering basics, majors, and electives related to science and technology developed by the STAR-MOOC committee. Students can take a variety of courses. At the opening ceremony, KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin, DGIST President Sang Hyuk Son, UST President Kil Choo Moon, POSTECH Vice President Wankyun Chung, UNIST Vice President Jae Sung Lee, GIST Vice President of Public Affairs Pil-hwan Park came to sign the MoU for provising educational services for the public. During the ceremony, there was also time to introduce a technical agreement with a non-profit organization founded by NAVER, the CONNECT Foundation, for its courses and platform. Universities participating in STAR-MOOC will put effort into capacity building in response to changes driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. President Shin said, “STAR-MOOC is a platform that provides science and technology courses from basics to electives and major courses. It will become a leading educational platform.” Students can register and choose courses from the website (http://starmooc.kr).
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