Center for Water and the Environment

Monica C. So

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Research Interests 

The long-term research goals of the So Lab are three-fold: (i) to study structure-property relationships of self-assembled materials, (ii) to characterize self-assembled materials on surfaces, and (iii) to study their optical, photophysical, electrochemical, and optoelectronic behaviors. The resulting work will add insight to the criteria needed to rationally design functional materials for energy conversion, storage, and sensing.

Research Projects

P.I.: Monica C. So

Title: Exploiting Metal Organic Framework Chemistry for Efficient Solar Energy Conversion

Funding Agency: Chico State's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Dates: 3/8/16-4/15/17

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which are hybrid materials self-assembled from organic and inorganic building units, have demonstrated a wide spectrum of applications due to their synthetic and chemical tunability. For example, MOFs have been used for gas storage and separation, catalysis, ion exchange, sensing, polymerization, and drug delivery. However, few studies have been focused on understanding the electrochemical behavior of MOFs assembled in thin films, which are relevant for solar cell applications. This is due to the insulating nature of the carboxylate bonds utilized to form MOFs. Incorporation of electron-donating groups into beta-positions of the organic units, such as porphyrins, and redox-active inorganic metals, such as cobalt and iron, can potentially enhance the charge transport efficiency when incorporated into MOFs. Consequently, this approach will create more conductive MOFs, which can be deposited into thin films and interrogated through electrochemistry. The long-term objective for this project is to incorporate these thin films of conductive MOFs into novel solar cells. The specific aims are three-fold: (1) to study the effects of beta-substituted porphyrins and redox-active metals on charge transfer-efficiency, (2) to self-assemble the porphyrin and metal units into MOF thin films, and (3) to interrogate their morphological and electrochemical behavior.

Research Publications

Barnett, J. L.; Cherrette, V. L.; Hutcherson, C. J.; So, M. C. Effects of Solution-Based Fabrication Conditions on Morphology of Lead Halide Perovskite Thin Film Solar Cells . Adv. Mater. Sci. Eng.2016, DOI: 10.1155/2016/4126163.

So, M. C.; Wiederrecht, G.; Mondloch, J.; Farha, O. K.; Hupp, J. T. Metal–organic framework materials for light-harvesting and energy transferChem. Commun.201551, 3501-3510.

So, M. C.; Beyzavi, M. H.; Sawhney, R.; Shekah, O.; Eddaoudi, M.; Al-Juaid, S. S.; Hupp, J. T.; Farha, O. K.Post-assembly transformations of porphyrin-containing metal–organic framework (MOF) films fabricated via automated layer-by-layer coordinationChem. Commun.201551, 85-88.

So, M. C.; Jin, S.; Son, H.-J.; Farha, O. K.; Wiederrecht, G. P.; Hupp, J. T. Layer-by-layer fabrication of an oriented thin film based on a porphyrin-containing metal organic frameworkJ. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135,15698.

Research Areas

Energy, Engineering, Water

Monica C. So

Physical Sciences 304
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