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Pu Zhao

Pu Zhao

Research Student 2011

Materials Chemistry

Office Phone: +44 (0) 1223 333433


2011-2015 (expected)  

Ph.D. in Earth Sciences
University of Cambridge, UK 


B.Sc. in Chemistry
Fudan University, P. R. China

Research Interests

Porous solid adsorbents (incl. zeolites and metal-organic frameworks) for strategic gas separation and storage (incl. natural gas, carbon dioxide and hydrogen).

Ph.D. project: The structure-property relations of zeolitic imidazolate framework 7 for carbon dioxide capture

Supervisor: Professor Simon Redfern


CO2 capture is not only a promising solution for global warming but also an important component of many gas separation and purification processes. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are competitive candidates for efficient CO2 capture because of their large capacity and adjustable affinity. In my Ph.D. project, I studied a specific MOF, zeolitic imidazolate framework 7 (ZIF-7), for the relationship between its stimuli-responsive structure and distinctive CO2 capture properties under varying conditions.

The highlight of my Ph.D. project is the demonstration of the relationship between the local dynamics of ligands and the global dynamics of ZIF-7 structure in response to external stimuli. The CO2 cooperative adsorption in ZIF-7 has been revealed. Due to its framework flexibility, ZIF-7 is a more open framework than expected and can be used in various applications including gas separation and sensing.

Along with the main project, I studied a few typical ZIFs for their adsorption of CH4 and H2. I have also sought alternative synthesis methods for ZIFs mass production.

Research methods involved gravimetry gas adsorption analysis, PXRD, Raman spectroscopy, TG-IR, SEM, etc. More specialised techniques using neutron and synchrotron light sources worldwide have also been applied, e.g. neutron diffraction (ILL, France), x-ray diffraction and total scattering (Diamond, UK; SLS, Switzerland), inelastic and quasi-elastic neutron scattering (ISIS, UK).

Previous Research Projects:

1. Synthesis and characterisation of novel metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), Department of Chemistry, Fudan University, 2008-2010;
2. Methanol to gasoline/olefin conversion (MTG/MTO) over modified ZSM-5, Institute of Coal Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2009;
3. SPE-HPLC based quantitative analysis of folic acid in infant milk powder and vitamin D3 in animal feed (premix), DSM China Nutrition Centre, DSM (China) Ltd., Royal DSM N. V., 2010-2011.

Key Publications