Omar Yaghi is the pinoeer in reticular chemistry, a new field of chemistry concerned with stitching molecular building blocks together by strong bonds to make open frameworks. His most recognizable work is in the design and production of new classes of compounds known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs), and covalent organic frameworks (COFs). MOFs are noted for their extremely high surface areas (5640 m2/g for MOF-177) and very low crystalline densities (0.17 g·cm−3 for COF-108). Yaghi also pioneered molecular weaving, and synthesized the world’s first material woven at the atomic and molecular levels (COF-505).
He has been leading the effort in applying these materials in clean energy technologies including hydrogen and methane storage, carbon dioxide capture and storage, as well as harvesting water from desert air.
Photo by Boasap at the English Wikipedia, under CC BY SA 3.0 license