David Michael

Cataloging the Water Sorption Properties of Metal Organic Frameworks

Approximately 785 million people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water. Though often ignored as a viable source of drinking water, Earths atmosphere contains 13 sextillion liters of gaseous water. In recent years, advances in materials science have bred a new class of materials, known as metal organic frameworks (MOFs). Upon judicious construction, MOFs can extract this watereven from low humidity air. Unfortunately, chemists interested in so-called water harvesting must comb through much literature in order to determine if a certain MOFs water sorption properties have ever been studied; to compare one MOFs performance to anothers; and to locate MOFs meeting specific criteria (e.g., optimal performance humidity). I propose to create a freely available database that catalogs all MOFs whose water sorption properties have previously been published. It is my hope that this database will facilitate the research of others by addressing the above challenges and by expediting researchers ability to recognize patterns in sorption performance across differently structured MOFs, thereby facilitating the elucidation of structure-function relationships.

Message to Sponsor

Dear Rose Hills Foundation, I would like to thank you most sincerely for allowing me this opportunity to conduct full-time research this summer. Your generous support enabled me to devote my time to science, a gift that is doubly appreciated considering the financial difficulties the pandemic has heralded. Working independently has lent me a fresh appreciation for the work of researchers and has forced me to claim total responsibility for my own work. It has taught me to persevere through failure and to exercise patience rather than to resort to frustration. Though I am grateful to have had this opportunity to explore a career in research, I believe that my true calling is medicine. Having said that, I am now beginning to consider pursuing a PhD after I complete my medical studies, though I am not quite ready to make a final decision. Regardless of my future career, whether it be in medicine or in research, I will cherish the lessons I have learnt while a SURF fellow.
  • Major: Chemistry
  • Sponsor: SURF Rose Hills Independent
  • Mentor: Prof. Omar Yaghi