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3D Covalent Organic Frameworks Selectively Crystallized through Conformational Design

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posted on 2020-11-13, 22:44 authored by Ha L. Nguyen, Cornelius Gropp, Yanhang Ma, Chenhui Zhu, Omar M. Yaghi
We present a strategy whereby selective formation of imine covalent organic frameworks (COFs) based on linking of triangles and squares into the fjh topology was achieved by the conformational design of the building units. 1,3,5-Trimethyl-2,4,6-tris­(4-formylphenyl)­benzene (TTFB, triangle) and 1,1,2,2-tetrakis­(4-aminophenyl)­ethene (ETTA, square) were reticulated into [(TTFB)4­(ETTA)3]imine, termed COF-790, which was fully characterized by spectroscopic, microscopic, and X-ray diffraction techniques. COF-790 exhibits permanent porosity and a Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area of 2650 m2 g–1. Key to the formation of this COF in crystalline form is the pre-designed conformation of the triangle and the square units to give dihedral angles in the range of 75–90°, without which the reaction results in the formation of amorphous product. We demonstrate the versatility of our strategy by also reporting the synthesis and characterization of two isoreticular forms of COF-790, COF-791 and COF-792, based on other square building units.