Department of Chemistry



Nathaniel Rosi

Covestro Professor of Chemistry


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 2017, 3, 745-749
“Ternary gradient metal-organic frameworks,” C. Liu and N.L. Rosi.* Faraday Discussions 2017, 201, 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. 2016, 138, 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. 2016, 138, 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 2015, 31, 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. 2015, 137, 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 2015, 3, 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. 2014, 20, 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 2014, 2, 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. 2013, 110, 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. 2013, 135, 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. 2013, 135, 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. 2013, 135, 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. 2013, 13, 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 2013, 4, 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. 2013, 52, 3993-3995
“Strain-promoted ‘click’ modification of a mesoporous metal-organic framework,” C. Liu, T. Li, and N.L. Rosi* J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 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 2012, 3, #604
“Size-controlled peptide-directed synthesis of hollow spherical gold nanoparticle superstructures,” L. Hwang, G. Zhao, P. Zhang, and N.L. Rosi* Small 2011, 7, 1939-1942
“Metal-biomolecule frameworks (MBioFs),” I. Imaz, M. Rubio-Martinez, J. An, I Sole-Font, N.L. Rosi*, and D. Maspoch Chem. Commun. 2011, 47, 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. 2011, 133, 1220-1223
“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 2010, 132, 14033-14035
“Tuning MOF CO2 adsorption properties via cation exchange,” J. An and N.L. Rosi* J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 5578-5579
“Peptide-based methods for the preparation of nanostructured inorganic materials,” CL Chen and NL Rosi* Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2010, 49, 1924-1942
“Near-infrared luminescent lanthanide MOF barcodes,” KA White, DA Chengelis, KA Gogick, J Stehman, S Petoud* and NL Rosi* J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 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, 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. 2009, 131, 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. 2009, 131, 8376-8377