Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2019

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 07/29/2020

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Forbes, Tori Z

First Committee Member

Quinn, Daniel

Second Committee Member

MacGillivray, Leonard

Third Committee Member

Gillan, Edward

Fourth Committee Member

Daly, Scott


The ability to construct materials that are specialized for specific tasks is an important challenge for the scientific community. A mature field in this right is that of metal organic materials. These materials are infinitely customizable crystalline materials constructed from metals/metal containing nodes and organic multitopic linkers. Numerous subfields of materials research seek to exploit some of the characteristics and seen-nowhere-else properties of metal organic materials. A nascent, yet promising subfield is the use of metal organic materials in water treatment.

The diminishing access to safe clean water continues to grow as a worldwide problem. Freshwater reserves are decreasing and the human populations who rely on them are increasing. It is a clear need to revolutionize the way the scientific community treats and delivers safe water. Our research group discovered a metal organic material made from hexavalent uranium and the organic ligand iminodiacetate. This material was coined the UMON for its nanotubular shape (uranium metal organic nanotube) and early on it was proven to be unique in the way it allowed water to enter the tube channel and bar any other species from doing the same. I sought to use this material as a vehicle to learn and discover new ways that metal organic materials could be used in the water treatment revolution.

This dissertation will narrate my investigations into specific hypotheses regarding the UMON’s special water properties. Specifically I sought to construct other materials with hexavalent uranium to test whether the presence of uranium was an important factor in a materials discretion for water. I also helped establish new knowledge regarding the UMON itself by discovering its negative thermal expansion and its ability to select for light water (H2O) over heavy water species (D2O, HDO, HTO).


Crystallography, Metal-organic, Nanotube, Water


xix, 172 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 166-172).


Copyright © 2019 Maurice Kato Payne Jr.

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