Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Physics and Astronomy


Stephen FitzGerald


Carbon dioxide, CO2, MOF, MOFs, Methane, CH4, Gas separation, Carbon capture, CCS, DRIFTS, Infrared spectroscopy, MOF-74, Mg-MOF-74, Gas adsorption


There are a range of environmental and industrial applications to capturing carbon dioxide from gas mixtures. Currently, materials being used in these applications bind carbon dioxide too strongly for practical purposes, such that they require large amounts of energy to be regenerated for reuse.

Highly porous materials called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) could serve much more effectively as carbon-capturing materials, as they suck up large amounts of carbon dioxide gas at pressures and temperatures that are nearly ideal for carbon-capture applications. Moreover, they require much less energy than current materials to release the carbon dioxide and be regenerated. Additionally, many different structures can be created fairly easily, so scientists are on the hunt for the ideal carbon-capturing MOF.

In this thesis we study Mg-MOF-74, a particularly promising metal-organic framework material for separating carbon dioxide from gas mixtures. We use infrared spectroscopy to probe the interactions between the Mg-MOF-74 host and both carbon dioxide and methane. By shining infrared radiation on Mg-MOF-74 with gases trapped in it and looking at which frequencies of radiation are absorbed by the bound gases, we can learn about the binding nature of the framework. This in turn helps us to better understand the properties are are preferable in metal organic frameworks, and will aid chemists in fabricating new structures that are ideal for carbon-capture and other applications.

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