What is the NMGC?

The Nanoporous Materials Genome Center (NMGC) discovers and explores microporous and mesoporous materials, including metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), zeolites, and porous polymer networks (PPNs). These materials find use as separation media and catalysts in many energy-relevant processes and their next generation computational design offers a high-payoff opportunity. Towards that end, the NMGC develops state-of-the-art predictive modeling tools and employs them to increase the pace of materials discovery. The NMGC provides a repository of experimental and predicted structures and associated properties for the rapidly growing scientific communities that are interested in using these materials in energy-relevant technologies.

Research Highlights

Deep Neural Network for Optmizing Sorptive Separation Processes

More energy-efficient separation processes are needed to reduce the energy footprint of the chemical industries, but modeling of complex sorption equilibria is a bottleneck. A deep neural network, called SorbNet, is developed that can predict multi-component adsorption isotherms over a wide range of temperatures and pressures and allows for finding optimal conditions for challenging separations.

Cerium Metal–Organic Framework Proposed for Photocatalysis

Dr. Xin-Ping Wu, a postdoctoral scholar working with Don Truhlar and Laura Gagliardi, has proposed that metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) containing cerium would also be good photocatalysts; with research supported by the Nanoporous Materials Genome Center

Trap Nasty Carbon Dioxide, Save the World, Become a Master of Filtering

For more than a year, NMGC researchers worked to create a game, that lets players design and test brand new Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) within an interactive game center.

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May 8, 2019Professor Gagliardi awarded McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair
May 3, 2019Paper by Farha and Snurr featured in Chemical & Engineering News
April 15, 2019Randy Snurr elected corresponding member of the Saxon Academy of Sciences
April 11, 2019Samuel Stoneburner receives Overend Award in Physical Chemistry
April 1, 2019Coray Colina receives 2019 Cooperative Research Award in Applied Polymer Science and Engineering
March 29, 2019Omar Farha receives JSCC Award for Creative Work
March 19, 2019Ben Bucior Wins Poster Award

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Partner Institutions

University of Minnesota
Cornell University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Northwestern University
University of California, Berkeley
University of Florida
University of Southern California
University of Toronto


This research is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences and Biosciences under Awards DE-FG02-12ER16362 (Nanoporous Materials Genome: Methods and Software to Optimize Gas Storage, Separations, and Catalysis) and DE-FG02-17ER16362 (Predictive Hierarchical Modeling of Chemical Separations and Transformations in Functional Nanoporous Materials: Synergy of Electronic Structure Theory, Molecular Simulations, Machine Learning, and Experiment).

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Broader Impacts

The Center was started as part of the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), a multi-agency initiative designed to create a research infrastructure at U.S. institutions that enables the research enterprise to discover, manufacture, and deploy advanced materials twice as fast, at a fraction of the cost. Predictive Theory and Modeling of Chemical Systems are goals of the DOE Basic Energy Sciences Computational Chemical Sciences Initiative. Software developed by NMGC also contributes to the Exascale Computing Initiative.

Exascale Computing Initiative