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A Chemical Role for Trichloromethane: Room-Temperature Removal of Coordinated Solvents from Open Metal Sites in the Copper-Based Metal–Organic Frameworks

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journal contribution
posted on 17.04.2018, 14:54 by Jae Sun Choi, Jinhee Bae, Eun Ji Lee, Nak Cheon Jeong
Open coordination sites (OCSs) in metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) have shown potential in applications such as molecular separation, sorption, catalysis, and sensing. Thus, the removal of coordinated solvent has been viewed as an essential step that needs to be performed prior to the use of the MOFs in the above applications. To date, a thermal method that is normally performed by applying heat and vacuum has been the most commonly employed activation method despite its negative influence on the structural integrity of the MOFs. In this report, we demonstrate that commonly inert trichloromethane (TCM) can activate OCSs; the TCM treatment process serves as an alternative chemical route to activation that does not require the external thermal energy. On the basis of the Raman study, we suggest a possible mechanism for the chemical activation process where TCM may weakly coordinate to the OCSs and then spontaneously dissociate. In addition, we prove that the chemical activation behavior is substantially boosted when a small amount of external heat energy (55 °C, 2.6 meV) is supplied during the TCM treatment. Using an HKUST-1–polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) mixed matrix (MM), we also demonstrate that this chemical activation strategy is a safe way to activate thermally deformable MOF–polymer mixed matrices.