Awards Database

Cottrell Scholar Awards - 2014

Mircea Dinca

Mircea Dinca

Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Teaching Sponges New Tricks: Self-Assembly, Charge Transport, and Electric Conductivity in Microporous Metal-Organic Frameworks

Dinca is working with exotic materials known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). They are crystalline, porous materials synthesized from inorganic and organic building blocks. Their extraordinary porosity and large internal surface area make them useful for a number of tasks.  He is hoping to increase the electrical conductivity of MOFs to create alternative architectures for organic-based photovoltaics, new battery materials and future platforms for electrocatalysis and gas separations.

Specifically, his research objective is to use fundamental principles governing how electrical charges move around in molecules to impart electrical conductivity to MOFs.

The Cottrell Scholar Award will also help fund Dinca’s teaching goals. He aims to revamp MIT’s undergraduate inorganic chemistry curriculum by introducing a set of technological and curriculum innovations that will allow a fluid continuum between the school’s two core, undergraduate Inorganic chemistry classes and integrate them within the newly developing energy minor. He also hopes to create educational materials that will seamlessly integrate with MIT’s online education efforts around the world.

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