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Unprecedented Radiation Resistant Thorium–Binaphthol Metal–Organic Framework

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posted on 22.07.2020, 22:13 by Sara E. Gilson, Melissa Fairley, Patrick Julien, Allen G. Oliver, Sylvia L. Hanna, Grace Arntz, Omar K. Farha, Jay A. LaVerne, Peter C. Burns
A thorium–organic framework (TOF-16) containing hexameric secondary building units connected by functionalized binaphthol linkers was synthesized, characterized, and irradiated to probe its radiation resistance. Radiation stability was examined using γ-rays and 5 MeV He2+ ions to simulate α particles. γ-irradiation of TOF-16 to an unprecedented 4 MGy dose resulted in no apparent bulk structural damage visible by X-ray diffraction. To further probe radiation stability, we conducted the first He2+ ion irradiation study of a metal–organic framework (MOF). Diffraction data indicate onset of crystallinity loss upon approximately 15 MGy of irradiation and total loss of crystallinity upon exposure to approximately 25 MGy of He2+ ion irradiation. The high radiation resistance observed suggests MOFs can withstand radiation exposure at doses found in nuclear waste streams and highlights the need for a systematic approach to understand and eventually design frameworks with exceptional radiation resistance.