Department of Chemistry



Nathaniel Rosi



Chevron Science Center, 219 Parkman Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15260

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Research Overview

Inorganic and Materials Chemistry, Metal-Organic Frameworks, Nanoparticle Assembly, Materials for Sustainable Energy

New materials drive innovations in energy, medicine, and countless other fields. We are broadly interested in the design, synthesis, and discovery of new materials. We use a suite of chemical building blocks, including small molecules, biomolecules, metal clusters, nanoparticles, etc., to construct well-ordered (periodic) hierarchical structures whose properties depend intrinsically on the nature of the building blocks and their organization in space. Ultimately, we strive toward the conception and realization of unifying design principles that will facilitate the organization of such building blocks over multiple length scales.

Given the multi-disciplinary nature of our research, students and postdocs from diverse chemical disciplines are encouraged to participate. While in lab, they become familiar with a wide array of solution, solid-state, automated, and high-throughput synthetic methods. Further, they become skilled at using NMR, mass spectroscopy, IR, SEM, TEM, thermal analysis, sorption, fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy, and X-ray diffraction methods to characterize their materials. They are encouraged to attend national and international meetings to disseminate their most exciting results.


  • Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award, 2014
  • Kavli Fellow, 2012
  • ChemComm Emerging Investigator, 2011
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2010-2015
  • US Delegate for Transatlantic Frontiers of Chemistry Conference, 2008


“Ligand exchange for controlling the surface chemistry and properties of nanoparticle superstructures,” A.D. Merg, Y. Zhou, A.M. Smith, J.E. Millstone, and N.L. Rosi.* , ChemNanoMat , Vol. 3, 2017, Pages 745-749
“Rare earth pcu metal-organic framework platform based on RE4(m3-OH)4(COO)62+ clusters: rational design, directed synthesis, and deliberate tuning of excitation wavelengths,” T.Y. Luo, C. Liu, S.V. Eliseeva, P.F. Muldoon, S. Petoud*, and N.L. Rosi.* , J. Am. Chem. Soc. , Vol. 139, 2017, Pages 9333-9340
“Ternary gradient metal-organic frameworks,” C. Liu and N.L. Rosi.* , Faraday Discussions , Vol. 201, 2017, Pages 163-174
“Peptide-directed assembly of single-helical gold nanoparticle superstructures exhibiting intense chiroptical activity,” A.D. Merg, J.C. Boatz, A. Mandal, G. Zhao, S. Punekar, C. Liu, Z. Wang, P. Zhang, P.C.A. van der Wel*, N.L. Rosi.* , J. Am. Chem. Soc., Vol. 138, 2016, Pages 13655-13663
“Establishing porosity gradients within metal-organic frameworks using partial postsynthetic ligand exchange,” C. Liu, C. Zeng, T.Y. Luo, A.D. Merg, R. Jin, N.L. Rosi.* , J. Am. Chem. Soc. , Vol. 138, 2016, Pages 12045-12048
“Adjusting the metrics of 1-D helical gold nanoparticle superstructures using multivalent peptide conjugates,” A.D. Merg, J. Slocik, M.G. Blaber, G.C. Schatz, R. Naik, and N.L. Rosi.* , Langmuir , Vol. 31, 2015, Pages 9492-9501
“Orthogonal ternary functionalization of a mesoporous metal-organic framework via sequential post synthetic ligand exchange,” C. Liu, T-.Y. Luo, E.S. Feura, C. Zhang, N.L. Rosi.* , J. Am. Chem. Soc., Vol. 137, 2015, Pages 10508-10511
“Fabrication of MMMs with improved gas separation properties using externally-functionalized MOF particles,” S.R. Jenna, M. Lartey, T. Li, A. Spore, S. Kumar, H.B. Nulwala, D.R. Luebke, N.L. Rosi*, and E. Albenze.* , J.Mat. Chem. A, Vol. 3, 2015, Pages 5014-5022
“Peptide conjugates for directing the morphology and assembly of 1D nanoparticle superstructures,” C. Zhang, C. Song, H.C. Fry, and N.L. Rosi*., Chem. Eur. J., Vol. 20, 2014, Pages 941-945
“Alumina-supported cobalt-adeninate MOF membranes for CO2/CH4 separation,” Z. Xie, T. Li, N.L. Rosi *, and M.A. Carreon*, J. Mater. Chem. A, Vol. 2, 2014, Pages 1239-1241
“Lanthanide near infrared imaging in living cells with Yb3+ nano metal organic frameworks,” Foucault, A., Gogick, K.A., White, K.A., Villette, S., Pallier, A., Collet, G., Kieda, C., Li, T. Geib, S.J., Rosi, N.L.*, and Petoud, S.*, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., Vol. 110, 2013, Pages 17199-17204
“Stepwise ligand exchange for the preparation of a family of mesoporous MOFs,” T. Li, M.T. Kozlowski, E.A. Doud, M.N. Blakely, and N.L. Rosi*, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Vol. 135, 2013, Pages 11688-11691
“Chiral structure of thiolate-protected 28-gold-atom nanocluster determined by X-ray crystallography,” C. Zeng, T. Li, A. Das, N.L. Rosi, and R. Jin.*, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Vol. 135, 2013, Pages 10011-10013
“Design and preparation of a core-shell metal-organic framework for selective CO2 capture,” T. Li, J.E. Sullivan, and N.L. Rosi*, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Vol. 135, 2013, Pages 9984-9987
“Tailorable plasmonic circular dichroism properties of helical nanoparticle superstructures,” C. Song, M. G. Blaber, G. Zhou, P. Zhang, H.C. Fry, G.C. Schatz, and N.L. Rosi*, Nano Lett., Vol. 13, 2013, Pages 3256-3261
“Systematic modulation and enhancement of CO2:N2 selectivity and water stability in an isoreticular series of bio-MOF-11 analogues,” T. Li, D-L. Chen, J. Sullivan, M. Koslowski, J.K. Johnson, and N.L. Rosi*, Chemical Science, Vol. 4, 2013, Pages 1746-1755
“Peptide-directed synthesis and assembly of hollow spherical CoPt nanoparticle superstructures,” C. Song, Y. Wang, and N.L. Rosi*, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., Vol. 52, 2013, Pages 3993-3995
“Strain-promoted ‘click’ modification of a mesoporous metal-organic framework,” C. Liu, T. Li, and N.L. Rosi*, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Vol. 134, 2012, Pages 18886-18888
“Metal-adeninate vertices for the construction of an exceptionally porous metal-organic framework,” J. An, O.K. Farha, J.T. Hupp, E. Pohl, J.I. Yeh, and N.L. Rosi*, Nature Communications, Vol. 3, 2012, Pages #604
“Size-controlled peptide-directed synthesis of hollow spherical gold nanoparticle superstructures,” L. Hwang, G. Zhao, P. Zhang, and N.L. Rosi*, Small, Vol. 7, 2011, Pages 1939-1942
“Metal-biomolecule frameworks (MBioFs),” I. Imaz, M. Rubio-Martinez, J. An, I Sole-Font, N.L. Rosi*, and D. Maspoch, Chem. Commun., Vol. 47, 2011, Pages 7287-7302
“Zinc-adeninate metal-organic framework for aqueous encapsulation and sensitization of near-infrared and visible emitting lanthanide cations,” J. An, C.M. Shade, D.A. Chengelis-Czegan, S. Petoud, and N.L. Rosi*, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Vol. 133, 2011, Pages 1220-1223
“Preparation of 1-D nanoparticle superstructures with tailorable thicknesses using gold-binding peptide conjugates,” Hwang L, Chen CL, Rosi NL, Chemical Communications, Vol. 47, 2011, Pages 185-187
“Expeditious Synthesis and Assembly of Sub-100 nm Hollow Spherical Gold Nanoparticle Superstructures,” Song CY, Zhao GP, Zhang PJ, Rosi NL, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 132, 2010, Pages 14033-14035
“Preparation of unique 1-D nanoparticle superstructures and tailoring their structural features,” CL Chen and NL Rosi*, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Vol. 132, 2010, Pages 6902-6903
“Tuning MOF CO2 adsorption properties via cation exchange,” J. An and N.L. Rosi*, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Vol. 132, 2010, Pages 5578-5579
“Peptide-based methods for the preparation of nanostructured inorganic materials,” CL Chen and NL Rosi*, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Vol. 49, 2010, Pages 1924-1942
“High and selective CO2 uptake in a cobalt-adeninate MOF exhibiting pyrimidine- and amino-decorated pores,” J An, S Geib, and NL Rosi*, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Vol. 132, 2010, Pages 38-39
“Near-infrared luminescent lanthanide MOF barcodes,” KA White, DA Chengelis, KA Gogick, J Stehman, S Petoud* and NL Rosi*, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Vol. 131, 2009, Pages 18069-18071
“Near-infrared Emitting Ytterbium Metal-organic Frameworks with Tunable Excitation Properties,” K.A. White, D.A. Chengelis-Czegan, M. Zeller, S.J. Geib, J. Szakos, S. Petoud* and N.L. Rosi*, Chem. Commun., 2009, Pages 4506 - 4508
“Synthesis, structure, assembly, and modulation of the CO2 adsorption properties of a zinc-adeninate macrocycle,” J. An, R. Fiorella, S. Geib, N. L. Rosi*, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Vol. 131, 2009, Pages 8401-8403
“Cation-Triggered Drug Release from a Porous Zinc-Adeninate Metal-Organic Framework,” J. An; S. Geib; N.L. Rosi*, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Vol. 131, 2009, Pages 8376-8377