Colin Weeks

Colin Weeks

Assistant Professor - Inorganic Materials
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0423

Office: 291 McCollum Science Hall
Voice: 319-273-2805


  • 1997 B.Sc.(Hons.), University of Sydney
  • 2001 Ph.D., University of Sydney (with Ron Fenton and Peter Lay)
  • 2001-2004 Postdoc, The University of Sydney (with Cameron Kepert)
  • 2004-2007 Postdoc, Princeton University (with Tom Spiro)
  • 2007-2010 Research Scientist, University of Washington (Spiro)

Research Interests

Dr. Weeks' research focuses on synthesizing and investigating the properties of a new class of materials, coordination polymers (shown below).

Coordination Polymers

Coordination polymers are constructed by using organic ligands to bridge multiple metal centers and form crystalline one-dimensional (1D), 2D and 3D frameworks.

These materials are exciting because the many bridging ligands and metal coordination geometries available make it possible to produce a vast array of framework structures, and to design them with interesting properties such as microporosity and magnetism.

Dr. Weeks' particular area of interest is the study of porous coordination polymers that are able to reversibly adsorb guest molecules in their pores, which are typically in the micropore size range (<20 Å). Porous frameworks have potential applications in gas storage, molecular separations, as molecular sensors and as catalysts. Characterizing the sorption properties of coordination polymers, especially in the liquid phase, and understanding the factors that control it are necessary for such applications to become reality, and are a major focus of his research.

Dr. Weeks is also interested in the mechanisms by which coordination polymers form. While choice of metal center and bridging ligand(s) provide a certain degree of control over the structure, other factors such as the solvent mixture used to grow the crystals and template molecules that occupy the pores also have large effects.

The goal of his research is to identify the intermediate species involved in the growth of coordination polymer crystals so that preparation of new coordination polymer frameworks can move beyond a trial and error approach.

Growing Coordination Polymers

Coordination polymer crystals are grown by slowly diffusing the metal ions and bridging ligands together.


Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Northern Iowa
1227 West 27th Street
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0423
Phone: 319-273-2437
FAX: 319-273-7127

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