Issue Date: June 4, 2012
Low Cost MOFs With High Surface Area
Novel types of inexpensive metal-organic framework (MOF) compounds with high surface areas can be prepared by simultaneously combining metal components with two types of low-cost and readily available organic units, according to a study in Chemical Science (DOI: 10.1039/c2sc20407j). MOFs are crystalline microporous solids built up from rigid molecular building blocks composed of metal clusters or metal ions connected via organic ligands (or linkers). The compounds’ exceptionally high surface areas and the potential for commercial application in various fields including gas storage, separations, and catalysis have driven intense research efforts in the past decade and led to many new types of MOFs. Yet many of these materials rely on exotic linkers and complex linking strategies. They are often selected with the aim of avoiding formation of interpenetrating lattice networks, which reduce surface area by creating regions within the crystals that are inaccessible to gas molecules. Kyoungmoo Koh, Adam J. Matzger, and coworkers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, show that interpenetration can be avoided by combining two common linear dicarboxylate linkers of different lengths with standard metal components. In an initial study, that strategy led to two MOFs with surface areas over 4,000 m2/g, a competitive but non-record-setting value.
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