Faculty Directory
Randall Q. Snurr

Chair of Chemical and Biological Engineering

John G. Searle Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering


2145 Sheridan Road
CAT 121
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-467-2977Email Randall Snurr


Snurr Research Group


Chemical and Biological Engineering


Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA

B.S.E. Chemical Engineering (magna cum laude), University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Research Interests

Molecular modeling, adsorption, separations, catalysis, energy and sustainability

Our research focuses on adsorption, diffusion, and catalysis in nanoporous materials. We are interested in novel materials such as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), as well as traditional materials such as zeolites that are already widely used in industry. Porous materials with well-controlled structures at the nanoscale can be extremely useful because of their ability to recognize and discriminate between adsorbed molecules. This leads to applications of nanoporous materials in adsorption separations, catalysis, membrane processes, sensing, and energy storage. Most of the projects in our group are aimed at solving problems related to energy and sustainability. Examples include development of materials to store hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles, development of materials for capturing carbon dioxide from power plant flue gas (carbon capture and sequestration), development of energy-efficient separations, development of highly selective catalysts for green chemistry processes, and harvesting water from air.

To address these problems, we use powerful molecular modeling and machine learning techniques. Our goal is to develop a better understanding of surface interactions and dynamics in nanoporous materials and to exploit this molecular-level information to develop new, highly-selective processes in adsorption separations, catalysis, and energy storage. Another goal of our research is to develop new simulation methods that can handle an ever-broader range of time and length scales to address important problems that cannot be simulated with current techniques. We also collaborate closely with experimental research groups.

Selected Publications

  • Drout, Riki J.; Kato, Satoshi; Chen, Haoyuan; Son, Florencia A.; Otake, Ken Ichi; Islamoglu, Timur; Snurr, Randall Q.; Farha, Omar K., Isothermal Titration Calorimetry to Explore the Parameter Space of Organophosphorus Agrochemical Adsorption in MOFs, Journal of the American Chemical Society
  • Mendonca, Matthew L.; Ray, Debmalya; Cramer, Christopher J.; Snurr, Randall Q., Exploring the Effects of Node Topology, Connectivity, and Metal Identity on the Binding of Nerve Agents and Their Hydrolysis Products in Metal-Organic Frameworks, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
  • Rosen, Andrew S.; Notestein, Justin M.; Snurr, Randall Q., Comparing GGA, GGA+U, and meta-GGA functionals for redox-dependent binding at open metal sites in metal-organic frameworks, The Journal of Chemical Physics
  • Barona, Melissa; Snurr, Randall Q., Exploring the Tunability of Trimetallic MOF Nodes for Partial Oxidation of Methane to Methanol, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
  • Samek, Izabela A.; Bobbitt, N. Scott; Snurr, Randall Q.; Stair, Peter C., Structure and activity of mixed VOx-CeO2 domains supported on alumina in cyclohexane oxidative dehydrogenation, Journal of Catalysis
  • Barona, Melissa; Gaggioli, Carlo Alberto; Gagliardi, Laura; Snurr, Randall Q., DFT Study on the Catalytic Activity of ALD-Grown Diiron Oxide Nanoclusters for Partial Oxidation of Methane to Methanol, Journal of Physical Chemistry A
  • Chen, Haoyuan; Snurr, Randall Q., Understanding the Loading Dependence of Adsorbate Diffusivities in Hierarchical Metal-Organic Frameworks, Langmuir
  • Chen, Haoyuan; Snurr, Randall Q., Insights into Catalytic Gas-Phase Hydrolysis of Organophosphate Chemical Warfare Agents by MOF-Supported Bimetallic Metal-Oxo Clusters, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces