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Small Molecules, Big Effects: Tuning Adsorption and Catalytic Properties of Metal–Organic Frameworks

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journal contribution
posted on 02.02.2021, 21:05 authored by Xinyao Liu, Kent O. Kirlikovali, Zhijie Chen, Kaikai Ma, Karam B. Idrees, Ran Cao, Xuan Zhang, Timur Islamoglu, Yunling Liu, Omar K. Farha
Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) have emerged as a highly tunable class of porous materials, and in particular, zirconium-based MOFs (Zr-MOFs) have demonstrated the potential to address challenges in a variety of practical applications due to their excellent chemical and thermal stabilities. However, Zr-MOFs are typically synthesized using flammable and toxic organic solvents. An effective, green, scalable route to obtain high-quality Zr-MOFs has yet to be developed as these procedures typically yield Zr-MOFs with relatively lower crystallinities and porosities than those obtained via the former route. Herein, we report the aqueous synthesis of MOF-808, a versatile Zr-MOF, that yields products with high crystallinities and porosities that are comparable to those of solvothermally synthesized MOF-808. We demonstrate that modifying the carboxylic acid-based modulator used in this hydrothermal procedure enables the straightforward tuning of the pore environment in MOF-808. This approach can be leveraged to tune both the water adsorption properties of MOF-808 and the solid-state catalytic performance of MOF-808 toward the hydrolysis of a nerve agent simulant. We anticipate that the insight gained here extends beyond MOF-808 and that it will lead to similar advancements for other Zr-MOFs.