Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Materials Science

Materials Science Research Lecture

Wednesday December 2, 2020 4:00 PM

Neutron Scattering applied to Hydrogen Storage in Metal-Organic Frameworks at the NIST Center for Neutron Research

Speaker: Craig Brown, Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware, Team Lead Structure and Dynamics of Materials National Institute of Standards and Technology

Webinar Link:

Webinar ID: 957 0877 2987


The NCNR is a national user facility that provides neutron measurement capabilities to researchers from academia, industry and other government agencies. The facility will be briefly introduced with some topical science examples where insights were gained from using select neutron scattering techniques that are available. A more detailed overview of adsorption of molecules in functionalized and high surface area metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) will be discussed. MOFs are emerging in technological importance in a multitude of areas from chemical separations to energy storage. We have been studying the structural and dynamical properties of MOFs for storage and separations of industrially important small molecules such as hydrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, noble gases, and short chain organics. Besides the geometrical and porosity control available in MOF chemistry, the properties of the frameworks can be tweaked to elevate electrostatic interactions by exposing open metal cation sites or functionalizing ligands. Here, we discuss the information accessible from neutron scattering experiments on a selection of MOF and MOF-like systems with respect to hydrogen storage. The results illustrate the power, and limitations, of diffraction and spectroscopy in elucidating the governing characteristics of these material properties and the interactions with the H2 as a guest molecule.

More about the Speaker:

Craig M. Brown received his B.A. Degree in Natural Science from Cambridge University, United Kingdom, in 1995. He obtained his D. Phil from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom, in 1999 while a resident at the Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble, France. He has worked at the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) since then and is also an Adjunct Professor in Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware. As a NIST Fellow he leads the Structure and Dynamics of Materials Team at the NCNR, operating 7 neutron diffractometers and spectrometers. His research interests are broad but center around the structural and dynamical characterizations of energy- and energy efficiency-related materials. He has co-authored over 250 publications (some, hopefully most, of them pretty decent) and has been honored with numerous awards including the highest ranked science award by NIST, the Samuel Wesley Stratton Award, DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program R&D Award, the Neutron Scattering Society of America Science Prize, the Arthur S. Flemming Award, the Department of Commerce Silver Medal and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers awarded by President Obama (that feels like such a long time ago!)

Series Materials Research Lecture Series

Contact: Jennifer Blankenship