Overcoming the difficulties of an immigrant, with a passion for science nurtured since childhood, Professor Omar M Yaghi has succeeded in inventing a material that can change the world.
The special person with the ability to create water from the air
Prof. Omar M. Yaghi graduated from the State University of New York at Albany in 1985 and received his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1990. From 1990 – 1992, he was a postdoctoral fellow. of the National Science Foundation (NSF) at Harvard University.
He began his independent career in 1992 as an Assistant Professor at Arizona State University, then transferred to the University of Michigan as a Professor of Chemistry in 1999 before becoming a Professor at the University of Michigan. University of California in 2006.
|Prof. Omar M. Yaghi – inventor of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs).|
Since 2012, he has been a Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. GS Yaghi is the Founding Director of the Berkeley Institute of Global Sciences and Co-Director of the Kavli Energy Nanoscience Institute and BASF’s California Research Alliance.
He is a pioneering scientist in the discovery and development of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which have the potential to improve the daily lives of millions of people.
In 1995, GS Yaghi reported the successful preparation of the first form of a compound that he thought would become a widely used porous material, called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). .
In his method, metal ions bonded to electrically charged organic bonds according to the carboxylate scheme, accompanied by evidence of the porosity of MOF materials (discovered in 1998) and the ultra-high porosity of the materials. them (discovered in 1999), creating a chain reaction that led to the development of MOF chemistry and materials.
|Professor Omar M. Yaghi is the owner of the VinFuture Award for Scientists Researching New Fields.|
In 2005, he extended his method to apply to the design and crystallization of the first 2D covalent organic framework (COF) and in 2007 the 3D COF. MOF and COF are currently being used worldwide.
These porous nanostructures can be used to capture, store, separate and control the chemical composition of a variety of gases and molecules.
GS Yaghi’s invention on MOF and COF has great significance in cleaning up the environment, bringing in cleaner air, cleaner energy and cleaner water. In addition, GS Yaghi’s MOF water receiver has been shown to have the potential to provide clean water anytime, anywhere from the air, thereby helping people to be self-sufficient in their water sources.
Childhood as an immigrant, used to live in a barn
Sharing about his life story, Prof. Omar M. Yaghi said: “When I was 10 years old, I went to the library one afternoon and saw a very impressive image. Years later, I found out it was a molecular model.”
“That was the beginning of my love for chemistry and materials. That led to my passion and invention to create a new type of material, metal-mechanical frameworks (metal-organic frameworks – MOFs),” he said.
|The difficult childhood of Prof. Omar M. Yaghi.|
Prof. Omar M. Yaghi is an independent person from a very young age. By the age of 9, 10, he told his parents not to check his own results, instead, he would be responsible for himself.
Born into a family of refugees, the youth of Professor Omar M. Yaghi was the days when the whole family had to live with cows. Although he had a difficult childhood, but according to this scientist, going through those things made him feel that life was more meaningful.
“The love and encouragement of my parents means a lot to me, from which I move forward and achieve my achievements,” he said.
|Prof. Omar M. Yaghi as a child.|
According to Professor Omar M. Yaghi, within 30 years, he and his colleagues have designed to create a material that is small in volume but can cover not only a football field with 1 gram of material, but even even more than that.
Explaining his new type of material, Professor Omar M. Yaghi said, when analyzed from a molecular perspective, the material has a lot of voids.
When we get into the pores in the material, we can use chemical agents to program, remove CO2 from the air or program it to convert CO2 into raw materials, maybe even mining. water from the air.
“In the desert there is still water in the air. There, the metallurgical framework material can be used to exploit water in these areas. This is the most feasible option because cooling methods to produce water can only be used in places with high humidity,” said Professor Omar M. Yaghi.
|Prof. Omar M. Yaghi explains the existence of voids in the molecule.|
Talking about his own experience, Professor Omar M. Yaghi said: “When I was young, I never thought I would have the opportunity to change the world. Nor do I think that one day I will create such a meaningful invention. This is a dream come true.”
According to Prof. Omar M. Yaghi: “I came to chemistry with the beauty of the molecule, and somehow it has helped me get to where I am today.”
“I believe that no matter what problems humanity faces, if we have determination, will, commitment and investment of resources, all problems can be solved. We can innovate, create, so we can solve any problem in the world.”, this scientist shared.
GS. Omar M. Yaghi was awarded the VinFuture Special Award for Scientist in New Fields because he is a pioneer scientist in the discovery and development of potential metal-organic framework materials (MOFs) ability to improve the daily lives of millions of people.
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VinFuture is the largest science and technology award held in Vietnam so far, attracting the attention of the world’s top scientists.