Porous Aromatic Frameworks (PAFs) and Their Membrane

Chemistry Graduate Seminar


Application: Xiaoqin Zou and Guangshan Zhu

Key Laboratory of Polyoxometalate and Reticular Material Chemistry of Ministry of Education, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China

Email: zouxq100@nenu.edu.cn



Currently, the study of porous aromatic frameworks (PAFs) has become a research hotspot of the porous materials family. PAFs possess the advantages of high stability, large specific surface area, large pore volume, strong modifiability, and show excellent performance in gas storage and separation, sensing, catalysis and photoelectricity, etc.[1,2] In order to obtain PAFs with specific structures and controllable properties, it is of great importance to select appropriate structural elements and effective coupling reaction types. With the help of computer design simulation, we designed and synthesized a series of PAFs. By studying the topological structure of PAFs, the design and synthesis of PAFS materials with high specific surface areas were realized by selecting suitable structural elements and efficient polymerization reactions.

Based on the work of synthesis and structural design, we developed the application of PAFs, in particular for gas separation membranes.[3] Several methods including surface polymerization, cross linking and mixed matrix were proposed for fabrication of the integrated membranes.[4] PAFs with narrow pores were designed for the separation of permanent gases via molecular sieving.[5] PAF membranes with multiple active sites such as anionic centres and basic groups are capable to separate carbon dioxide from the post-combustion gas.[6] PAFs will achieve more breakthroughs in the field of new functional materials related to energy and environment.


[1] X. Q. Zou, H. Ren, G. S. Zhu. Chem. Commun. 2013, 49, 3925.

[2] Y. Y. Tian, G. S. Zhu, Chem. Rev. 2020, 120, 8934.

[3] Z. Y. Wang, H. C. Jiang, Y. Y. Tian, X. Q. Zou, G. S. Zhu, Trends Chem. 2023, 5, 446.

[4] L. Liu, L. Y. Yin, D. M. Cheng, S. Zhao, H. Y. Zang, N. Zhang, G. S. Zhu, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, 60, 14875.

[5] Y. Ma, F. C. Cui, H. Z. Rong, J. Song, X. F. Jing, Y. Y. Tian, G. S. Zhu, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022, 61, e202113682.

[6] P. P. Zhang, C. Zhang, L. Wang, J. C. Dong, D. X. Gai, W. J. Wang, T. S. Nguyen, C. T. Yavuz, X. Q. Zou, G. S. Zhu, Adv. Funct. Mater. 2023, 33, 2210091.



Prof. Xiaoqin Zou, earned his BS. degree at Jilin University in China, Ph.D. degree in the University of Caen, France, and did postdoc research at the University of California at Berkeley in the United States. Currently, he is an Excellent Youth Professor at the Department of Chemistry at Northeast Normal University (China), the Deputy Director of the Key Laboratory of Polyoxometalate and Reticular Material Chemistry of Ministry of Education (China). He received many awards and honors, including Young Chang Jiang Scholar (2022), High-Level Talent in Jilin Province (2020), Jilin Province Youth Talent Promotion Program (2017), and Jilin Excellent Youth Science Fund (2023). He is actively engaged in various professional activities, such as the Vice Chairman of the Youth Work Committee of Jilin Provincial Chemical Society and members of the Youth Editorial Committee for journals “Chinese Chemical Letters” and “Aggregate”. His research field is porous separation membranes, mainly focusing on the design and synthesis of porous membrane materials, the development of advanced membrane preparation techniques, and the separation applications of gases or liquids. In latest five years, he published over 40 corresponding-authored papers at high-impact journals such as J. Am. Chem. Soc., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., Adv. Mater., and etc.


Professor Xiaoqin Zou

Department of Chemistry, Northeast Normal University

Event Quick Information

01 Oct, 2023
11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
KAUST, Bldg. 9, Level 2, Lecture Hall 1