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Modular Total Synthesis in Reticular Chemistry

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journal contribution
posted on 28.01.2020, 15:35 authored by Liang Feng, Kun-Yu Wang, Xiu-Liang Lv, Tian-Hao Yan, Jian-Rong Li, Hong-Cai Zhou
The idea of modularity in organic total synthesis has promoted the construction of diverse targeted natural products by varying the building blocks and assembly sequences. Yet its utilization has been mainly limited to the synthesis of molecular compounds based on covalent bonds. In this work, we expand the conceptual scope of modular synthesis into framework materials, which bridges metal- and covalent organic frameworks (MOFs and COFs) hierarchically in reticular chemistry. While the assembly sequences are determined by the coordination or the covalent bond strengths, a modular synthesis strategy which progressively links simple building blocks into increasingly sophisticated superstructures was reported. As a result, a series of hierarchical COF-on-MOF structures with architectural intricacy were obtained through sequence-defined reactions of diverse building blocks. The tunability of spatial apportionment, compositions, and functionality was successfully managed in these framework materials. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the synthesis of COF@MOF composites and also the first discovery of controlled COF alignment. This generalizable modularity strategy will not only accelerate the discovery of multicomponent framework materials by the hierarchical assembly of MOFs and COFs but also offer a predictable retrosynthetic route to smart materials with unusual tunability owing to the diverse inorganic or organic building units.

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