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Transformation of Metal–Organic Framework to Polymer Gel by Cross-Linking the Organic Ligands Preorganized in Metal–Organic Framework

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journal contribution
posted on 19.02.2016, 12:18 by Takumi Ishiwata, Yuki Furukawa, Kouta Sugikawa, Kenta Kokado, Kazuki Sada
Until now, seamless fusion of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) and covalently cross-linked polymer gels (PG) at molecular level has been extremely rare, since these two matters have been regarded as opposite, that is, hard versus soft. In this report, we demonstrate transformation of cubic MOF crystals to PG via inner cross-linking of the organic linkers in the void space of MOF, followed by decomposition of the metal coordination. The obtained PG behaved as a polyelectrolyte gel, indicating the high content of ionic groups inside. Metal ions were well adsorbed in the PG due to its densely packed carboxylate groups. A chimera-type hybrid material consisting of MOF and PG was obtained by partial hydrolysis of resulting cross-linked MOF. The shape of resulting PG network well reflected the crystal structure of MOF employed as a template. Our results will connect the two different network materials that have been ever studied in the two different fields to provide new soft and hard hybrid materials, and the unique copolymerization in the large void space of the MOF will open a new horizon toward “ideal network polymers” never prepared before now.