Isomeric Cage Molecules in Self-Organized Materials
Supervisor: Tomáš Baše
The theme represents an interdisciplinary area and there are a number of students who could potentially find themselves interested in it. Challenging tasks can be found in one or more aspects of this research which covers the realm of synthetic chemistry with its standard characterization techniques, physical chemistry focusing on surface functionalization investigated by surface sensitive techniques, and computational investigation being carried out alongside this research to provide an independent support for the rationalization of results obtained by experiments. No matter whether the synthetic, physical or computational approach it is important to keep in mind the encompassing idea of understanding fundamental self-assembly principles and their utilization to design new kind of smart materials. To dive into this research all candidates must be able to communicate, read and write in English and be ready to discuss results within a net of international collaborators.
Phosphinic acid-based nanoporous coordination polymers
Supervisor: Jan Demel
The project aims at the development of novel nanoporous coordination polymers and testing their application potentials for gas separation, proton conductivity, or photophysical applications. Commonly, crystalline nanoporous coordination polymers (metal-organic frameworks abbreviated as MOFs) are not stable in aqueous environment, or even in the presence of air moisture. Recently, we have developed a new type of MOFs composed of phosphinate linkers that are stable even in boiling water. The aim of the project is to develop this new type of MOFs and investigate their application potential.
Molecular clusters for biological applications
The work is focused on the preparation of modified metal clusters and the investigation of their photophysical properties. One of the examples are octahedral molybdenum cluster complexes – nanometer structures composed of octahedrally arranged molybdenum atoms and eight tightly bound iodine atoms that form a cube with molybdenum atoms in the middle of the sides. An additional six ligands are attached to the Mo atoms and determine the properties of the compounds. A number of new, yet undescribed compounds will be prepared. Upon irradiation by light or X-rays, these compounds show luminescence and produce excited form of oxygen, i.e., singlet oxygen. Singlet oxygen is a highly reactive species, which inactivates microorganisms. This function will be used to prepare antimicrobial surfaces or nanomaterials for biological applications.
Materials for (photo)catalytic degradation of organophosphates and other organic pollutants
Supervisor: Jiří Henych
Many nanostructured oxides, based on Ti, Ce, Fe, Mg, etc., can bind and deactivate dangerous organophosphates – chemical warfare agents, their simulants, or pesticides. Photocatalysts are substances which, after exposure to suitable electromagnetic radiation (e.g., UV light), are capable of decomposing many organic pollutants. Nanocrystalline oxides such as TiO2, ZnO, or CeO2 exhibit this ability. Among decomposable substances are air pollutants such as VOC (e.g., acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, 1,2-dichloroethane), water pollutants such as azo dyes, pesticides, or endocrine disruptors. The work is focused on the preparation of pure, mixed, or otherwise modified nanostructured sorbents, their characterization, and investigation of kinetics and mechanism of degradation of pollutants on their surface using modern instrumental methods. A wide variety of methods, such as X-ray diffraction, photoelectron spectroscopy, vibrational (Raman, FTIR) and UV-Vis spectroscopy, specific surface determination and electron microscopy (SEM, HRTEM) will be used for characterization. The reactive adsorption and decomposition of pollutants will be investigated using in-situ infrared spectroscopy, HPLC, and GC-MS.