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Peter Kraft, 17, of Munster, investigated the synthesis of novel coordination polymers for his Intel Science Talent Search project in chemistry. Coordination polymers are massive molecules with complex network structures that have applications in gas purification, LED lighting and the storage of hydrogen in fuel cells. Peter synthesized and characterized ten new polymers with a wide range of complexity and structural composition. His findings could increase the speed and efficacy of chemical reactions, or be used to improve methods of gas storage. Peter has already published a paper outlining some of this work in the journal Acta Crystallographica, and has submitted a second paper to the Journal of Molecular Structure. Peter is captain of the Lincoln-Douglas debate team at Munster High School, where he also competes on the JETS engineering team and in the Science Olympiad. He recently competed in the nationwide We the People civic competition with his peers; his team earned a spot as one of the top five in the nation. The son of Roger Kraft and Norma Elias, Peter credits his father with inspiring his scientific interests.
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