Working in Sandia’s Physical, Chemical and Nano Sciences Center, Nenoff creates and tests molecular sponges specially tailored to capture various chemicals. Her Sandia career began with optimizing porous clay-like zeolites to absorb radioactive ions from legacy nuclear waste. Her work has expanded far beyond that in both the sponge-like materials in her arsenal and their applications.
In her core research and LDRD projects, Nenoff works closely with experts in many fields across the labs. Geoscientists and computer modeling people help design the molecular sponges. Folks in materials science determine the structure and characteristics of the resulting porous materials. Researchers take experimental results and analyze them in the context of real-world models.
Nenoff, who was included in a book highlighting the careers of 100 women in ceramic and glass science and engineering by Lynnette Madsen of the National Science Foundation, has fruitful collaborations with researchers at other national labs and in academia. She works closely with Karena Chapman and Peter Chupas at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory on the structural determination of the zeolites, metal organic frameworks and other nanoporous materials. She has a longrunning collaboration with University of California, Davis, physical chemist Alexandra Navrotsky, who provides technical expertise in calorimetry, a method for characterizing how well the sponges absorb their target chemicals.
Sponsored by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences