Up-goer summary: “My studies focus on human-made stuff that is made from light things. This stuff can hold air and store power, but in order to do this, it needs to have the right things. I study how to put these things in place so that the stuff can do what we want it to.”Peter Waller is a second year student in the chemistry department. He’s currently working on on covalent organic frameworks (COFs), a new class of porous, crystalline organic materials. They can be used to capture gases, as supports for catalysis, or in electronic devices. All of these applications require incorporation of specialized chemical functionalities, installed on top of the bare, unadorned framework. His projects focus on the development of new methods to put these necessary components into place.Good Green Ideas Recommendation: My favorite recent report in green chemistry is a method developed by a number of Berkeley chemists that allows for the electrocatalytic conversion of carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide. The technology incorporates COFs, and shows that these materials have the ability to improve upon previously-known molecular catalysis, provide high performance, and improve the recyclability of the system. Reports like these demonstrate the promise of new materials in addressing some of the most pressing environmental issues we as a society face.

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