9 February: Bao Nguyen Nguyen Thi (PhD), 'Supramolecular Cages as Membranes for Chemical Separations'
Supramolecular cages have been well known in host-guest chemistry applications, in which the cages serve as cargos to transport materials between liquid phases. Here we demonstrate a separation system using two cages as membranes which coordinately ‘filter’ a mixture of guest compounds. The process is spontaneous and is driven by the difference in binding strength of the guest molecules to the cages, that in turn causes the cages to prefer encapsulating some guests to the others. Going along the separation system, the initial guest mixture is well sieved after passing each cage membrane layer and ultimately purified at the end of the separation process. The project demonstrates a new low energy separation system, which will potentially apply in petroleum refining and cosmetic purification processes
Bao Nguyen Nguyen Thi is a PhD student in the Department of Chemistry. Nguyen is from Da Nang, Vietnam. She obtained her bachelor degree from Imperial College London. After graduating, she briefly joined the Singapore Agency of Science Technology and Research (A*STAR) for one year before returning for her PhD, with the support of an A*STAR National Science Scholarship.