Prof. Silvia Bordiga

The scientific activity of Prof. Bordiga in the last 10 years has been mainly devoted to the characterization of the physico-chemical properties of nanostructured materials with large surface area used as heterogeneous catalysts, photo-catalysts or materials for adsorption, separation and storage of gases. Simple oxides, synthetic zeolites and, more recently, metal organic frameworks (MOFs) have been her major research topic.

Her strategy has been to gather data obtained from experiments (mostly spectroscopies) and molecular modelling in order to understand structural and functional behaviours of the materials under study and to correlate them with their performances in relation to specific applications. The rational use of complementary characterization techniques has allowed S. Bordiga to increase our understanding of the structure of active sites and to evidence labile reaction intermediate, in order to unravel reaction mechanisms. Her most recent challenge has been to identify and monitor active sites “in action”, leading her to perform experiments not only “in situ” but also “in operando” mode (i.e., gases/liquids flowing through a cell designed to operate at the reaction temperature, often a few hundreds of °Celsius).

Her outstanding results have earned S. Bordiga an international recognition, evidenced by an h index of 78 and numerous invitations as plenary/invited speaker at international conferences, as panel member in international grant committees (e.g. Hercules-Science Commission Flamish government) or organization of conferences (e.g. EuroMOF2015 scientific committee), as invited author in topical issues of prestigious journals (e.g. Chem Soc Rev issue on Zeolite Chemistry and Catalysis), as invited author in thematic books (e.g. Wiley-VCH book on “The Chemistry of Metal-Organic Frameworks” edited by Prof. Stefan Kaskel). More info on her website.

Her keynote is titled “Vibrational spectroscopies to understand the structure and the functional properties of MOFs” and the abstract can be downloaded here.