Giri Group Research

The Giri Lab is in a wide range of research centering around crystallization control and implementation of these materials for applications ranging from pharmaceuticals, electronics, and separation membranes. We have many collaborations at UVA with the department of materials science, mechanical engineering, chemistry as well as within our own.

Giri Group Research Topics

  • Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs)

    1. Thin Film Sensors



    This project aims to create an electronic-based chemical sensor. We leverage our understanding of crystallization processes to synthesize a Cu(II) based MOF (HKUST-1) with graphene to enhance the interfacial detection of chemical analytes. Crystallization control of the MOF allows for enhancement of chemical enrichment in the sensing region and selectivity for chemical specificity. This sensor has significance in industrial process management, chemical threat detection and environment monitoring.


    2. Air Filters



    We are exploring the use of Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) for capture of particulate matter and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to improve air quality around the world. This work is focused on testing efficiency of pollution capture and screening selected MOFs for durability and life-span. By exploring the structure-performance relationship and tuning MOF chemistry, we are aiming to identify candidates for real world pollution capture applications.


    3. MOF Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery



    Metal organic frameworks have high pore volume and surface areas available for chemical uptake and stroage. We are exploring metal organic frameworks as a platform for drug storage and controlled drug delivery vehicles.

  • Crystallization of Small Organic Molecules

    1. Pharmaceutical Polymorphism Control



    This study revealed that glycine and acetaminophen polymorphs can be isolated using solution shearing as a processing technique. Controlling temperature and shearing speed controls evaporation rate and thus film thickness, resulting in isolation of metastable polymorphs.


    2. Organic Semiconductor Polymorphism Control



    Organic transistors, OLEDs and solar cells require crystallization as a process to create an active layer of semiconducting material. We are exploring how controlled interfaces can improve the performance of OTFTs, OLEDs and OSCs.


    3. C8-BTBT Crystal Texture



    Processing conditions impact alignment and selection of polymorphism in organic seimconductors like C8-BTBT. We can relate the crystal texture and polymorphism to device performance through the charge transport that is attained.


    4. 3D Printing for Drug Delivery



    Using 3D printing as a platform for creating personalized and controllable drug deleivery mechanisms.


  • Understanding Crystallization Fundamentals

    1. MOF Morphology Control



    Chemical modulation can have an impact on MOF properties, including BET surface area, faceting, and the primary exposed pore for anisotropic MOFs.


    In two systems (Zinc based BDC DABO and Zirconia based UIO-66) we have demonstrated tunable crystal shape and faceting. When pores shape is anisotropic, this can have relevance for separations and storage by controlling the timescales of diffusion throughout the framework.


    2. MOF Solution Processing



    This project is focused on the fabrication and control of thin film Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs). We are exploring the fundamentals of MOF crystallization as well as control of particle deposition to fabricate thin films from a wide range of MOFs. These films can then be used for applications ranging from gas separation to desalination and sensing. By exploring these techniques we hope to better understand the relationship between MOF crystallization, film quality and fabrication technique.


    Using solution shearing and modulation, oriented thin films of metal organic frameworks can be created.


    3. Polymorphism in Pharmaceutical Compounds



    In drug delvelopment, it is important to identify polymorphism as it can occur during crystallization. Unwanted polymorphs can lead to changes in drug performance. As such, the most stable form is often selected for development, but through using different processing techniques (like solution shearing) we can stabilize other metastable forms, which have enhanced kinetics associated with drug delivery and response time.