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Metal-Organic Framework Exhibits Record-Setting Conductivity

Nickel-containing MOF compound shows promise for electronics applications

by Mitch Jacoby
May 5, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 18

Credit: Mircea Dinca/MIT
This molecular model depicts the structure of a highly conducting nickel-containing metal organic framework material.
Credit: Mircea Dinca/MIT

The potential for using electrically conducting, atomically thin materials in advanced electronic devices is driving a search for new examples of these so-called two-dimensional conducting materials. Only a handful of examples, such as graph­ene, are known. A team of chemists at MIT and Harvard University just added a new one to the list. Led by MIT’s Mircea Dinca, the team reports that a new metal-organic framework compound composed of Ni3 groups and hexaaminotriphenylene units (shown) exhibits record-setting electrical conductivity for a MOF (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, DOI: 10.1021/ja502765n). The team finds that in bulk form, the MOF’s conductivity measures 2 siemens per cm, about 100 times as high as the highest-conducting MOFs reported previously. Thin films of the MOF, which is the form more likely to be relevant to electronics applications, consistently exhibit a far higher room-temperature conductivity value: 40 S/cm. The team notes that unlike pure graphene, the new MOF is endowed with a band gap, a key electronic property essential to semiconductor electronics.


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