Solving global environmental challenges requires diverse, interdisciplinary expertise. NU-CAWS serves as a hub for a distinguished team of chemists, materials scientists, engineers, technology transfer experts, industrial partners, and policy experts.
This dedicated team of specialists leverages the cutting-edge facilities available at the IIN and Northwestern, and combines fundamental research with real-world applications, working with industrial partners to scale up new materials.
NU-CAWS focuses on the development of nanomaterials that detect and target pollutants in the water and air.
NU-CAWS researchers have discovered and commercialized cyclodextrin polymer adsorbent materials that showed outstanding promise in eliminating water pollutants including lead, PFAS, and agrochemicals.
Nanoporous crystalline materials have been developed for applications including water purification and protection against chemical warfare agents. NuMat Technologies, founded by NU-CAWS researchers, is the first company to commercialize system-level product enabled by metal-organic frameworks.
These nanoporous materials are unique in that their properties can be tailored in a controlled manner, which is difficult or impossible to achieve in their bulk counterparts. The intriguing physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials can be used to develop unique platforms for air and water purification.
Learn more about leading-edge research led by NU-CAWS personnel.
The mission of NU-CAWS is to produce next-generation solutions to air and water pollution.
Research at NU-CAWS will positively impact human health on a global scale by advancing access to clean air and clean water for people across the world.
William Dichtel is a professor and materials chemist at Northwestern University and a 2015 MacArthur Fellow.
Omar Farha is a professor of chemistry and chemical engineering at Northwestern University and a fellow of the European Academy of Sciences.
Faculty associated with NU-CAWS represent disciplines including:
See the complete list of associated faculty members.
Researchers at Northwestern are developing tiny, smart, programmable sponge-like materials – or porous nanomaterials – that represent one of the most promising new developments for cleaning water and air.
These highly-tunable nanoporous materials can selectively capture specific toxins.
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