Grand Challenges and Future Opportunities for Metal-Organic Frameworks.
ABSTRACT: Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) allow compositional and structural diversity beyond conventional solid-state materials. Continued interest in the field is justified by potential applications of exceptional breadth, ranging from gas storage and separation, which takes advantage of the inherent pores and their volume, to electronic applications, which requires precise control of electronic structure. In this Outlook we present some of the pertinent challenges that MOFs face in their conventional implementations, as well as opportunities in less traditional areas. Here the aim is to discuss select design concepts and future research goals that emphasize nuances relevant to this class of materials as a whole. Particular emphasis is placed on synthetic aspects, as they influence the potential for MOFs in gas separation, electrical conductivity, and catalytic applications.
Project description:Porous metal-organic-frameworks (MOFs) are attractive materials for gas storage, separations, and catalytic reactions. A challenge exists, however, on how to introduce larger pores juxtaposed with the inherent micropores in different forms of MOFs, which would enable new functions and applications. Here we report the formation of heterogeneous pores within MOF particles, patterns, and membranes, using a discriminate etching chemistry, called silver-catalyzed decarboxylation. The heterogeneous pores are formed, even in highly stable MOFs, without altering the original structure. A decarboxylated MOF membrane is shown to have pH-responsive switchable selectivity for the flow-assisted separation of similarly sized proteins. We envision that our method will allow the use of heterogeneous pores for massive transfer and separation of complex and large molecules, and that the capability for patterning and positioning heterogeneous MOF films on diverse substrates bodes well for various energy and electronic device applications.
Project description:Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) have been considered as one of the most exciting porous materials discovered in the last decade. Large surface areas, high pore volumes, and tailorable pore sizes make MOFs highly promising in a variety of applications, mainly in gas separations. The number of MOFs has been increasing very rapidly, and experimental identification of materials exhibiting high gas separation potential is simply impractical. High-throughput computational screening studies in which thousands of MOFs are evaluated to identify the best candidates for target gas separation is crucial in directing experimental efforts to the most useful materials. In this work, we used molecular simulations to screen the most complete and recent collection of MOFs from the Cambridge Structural Database to unlock their CH4/H2 separation performances. This is the first study in the literature, which examines the potential of all existing MOFs for adsorption-based CH4/H2 separation. MOFs (4350) were ranked based on several adsorbent evaluation metrics including selectivity, working capacity, adsorbent performance score, sorbent selection parameter, and regenerability. A large number of MOFs were identified to have extraordinarily large CH4/H2 selectivities compared to traditional adsorbents such as zeolites and activated carbons. We examined the relations between structural properties of MOFs such as pore sizes, porosities, and surface areas and their selectivities. Correlations between the heat of adsorption, adsorbility, metal type of MOFs, and selectivities were also studied. On the basis of these relations, a simple mathematical model that can predict the CH4/H2 selectivity of MOFs was suggested, which will be very useful in guiding the design and development of new MOFs with extraordinarily high CH4/H2 separation performances.
Project description:Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are potential adsorbents for CO2 capture. Because thousands of MOFs exist, computational studies become very useful in identifying the top performing materials for target applications in a time-effective manner. In this study, molecular simulations were performed to screen the MOF database to identify the best materials for CO2 separation from flue gas (CO2/N2) and landfill gas (CO2/CH4) under realistic operating conditions. We validated the accuracy of our computational approach by comparing the simulation results for the CO2 uptakes, CO2/N2 and CO2/CH4 selectivities of various types of MOFs with the available experimental data. Binary CO2/N2 and CO2/CH4 mixture adsorption data were then calculated for the entire MOF database. These data were then used to predict selectivity, working capacity, regenerability, and separation potential of MOFs. The top performing MOF adsorbents that can separate CO2/N2 and CO2/CH4 with high performance were identified. Molecular simulations for the adsorption of a ternary CO2/N2/CH4 mixture were performed for these top materials to provide a more realistic performance assessment of MOF adsorbents. The structure-performance analysis showed that MOFs with ? Qst0 > 30 kJ/mol, 3.8 Å < pore-limiting diameter < 5 Å, 5 Å < largest cavity diameter < 7.5 Å, 0.5 < ? < 0.75, surface area < 1000 m2/g, and ? > 1 g/cm3 are the best candidates for selective separation of CO2 from flue gas and landfill gas. This information will be very useful to design novel MOFs exhibiting high CO2 separation potentials. Finally, an online, freely accessible database https://cosmoserc.ku.edu.tr was established, for the first time in the literature, which reports all of the computed adsorbent metrics of 3816 MOFs for CO2/N2, CO2/CH4, and CO2/N2/CH4 separations in addition to various structural properties of MOFs.
Project description:Metal organic framework (MOF) membranes have been widely investigated for gas separation applications. Several MOFs have been recently examined for selective separation of C2H6. Considering the large number of available MOFs, it is not possible to fabricate and test the C2H6 separation performance of every single MOF membrane using purely experimental methods. In this study, we used molecular simulations to assess the membrane-based C2H6/C2H4 and C2H6/CH4 separation performances of 175 different MOF structures. This is the largest number of MOF membranes studied to date for C2H6 separation. We computed adsorption selectivity, diffusion selectivity, membrane selectivity and gas permeability of MOFs for C2H6/C2H4 and C2H6/CH4 mixtures. Our results show that a significant number of MOF membranes are C2H6 selective for C2H6/C2H4 separation in contrast to traditional nanoporous materials. Selectivity and permeability of MOF membranes were compared with other membrane materials, such as polymers, zeolites, and carbon molecular sieves. Several MOFs were identified to exceed the upper bound established for polymeric membranes and many MOF membranes exhibited higher gas permeabilities than zeolites and carbon molecular sieves. Examining the structure-performance relations of MOF membranes revealed that MOFs with cavity diameters between 6 and 9 Å, porosities lower than 0.50, and surface areas between 500-1000 m2 g-1 have high C2H6 selectivities. The results of this study will be useful to guide the experiments to the most promising MOF membranes for efficient separation of C2H6 and to accelerate the development of new MOFs with high C2H6 selectivities.
Project description:By combining metal nodes with organic linkers we can potentially synthesize millions of possible metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). The fact that we have so many materials opens many exciting avenues but also create new challenges. We simply have too many materials to be processed using conventional, brute force, methods. In this review, we show that having so many materials allows us to use big-data methods as a powerful technique to study these materials and to discover complex correlations. The first part of the review gives an introduction to the principles of big-data science. We show how to select appropriate training sets, survey approaches that are used to represent these materials in feature space, and review different learning architectures, as well as evaluation and interpretation strategies. In the second part, we review how the different approaches of machine learning have been applied to porous materials. In particular, we discuss applications in the field of gas storage and separation, the stability of these materials, their electronic properties, and their synthesis. Given the increasing interest of the scientific community in machine learning, we expect this list to rapidly expand in the coming years.
Project description:Coordination polymerization leads to various metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with unique physical properties and chemical functionalities. One of the challenges towards their applications as porous materials is to make MOFs optimally conductive to be used as electronic components. Here, it is demonstrated that Co-MOF-74, a honeycomb nano-framework with one-dimensionally arranged cobalt atoms, advances its physical properties by accommodating tetracyanochinodimethan (TCNQ), an acceptor molecule. Strong intermolecular charge transfer reduces the optical band gap down to 1.5?eV of divalent TCNQ and enhances the electrical conduction, which allows the MOF to be utilized for resistive gas- and photo-sensing. The results provide insight into the electronic interactions in doped MOFs and pave the way for their electronic applications.
Project description:It has become a significant challenge to select the best metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) for membrane-based gas separations because the number of synthesized MOFs is growing exceptionally fast. In this work, we used high-throughput computational screening to identify the top MOF membranes for flue gas separation. Grand canonical Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations were performed to assess adsorption and diffusion properties of CO2 and N2 in 3806 different MOFs. Using these data, selectivities and permeabilities of MOF membranes were predicted and compared with those of conventional membranes, polymers, and zeolites. The best performing MOF membranes offering CO2/N2 selectivity > 350 and CO2 permeability > 106 Barrer were identified. Ternary CO2/N2/H2O mixture simulations were then performed for the top MOFs to unlock their potential under industrial operating conditions, and results showed that the presence of water decreases CO2/N2 selectivity and CO2 permeability of some MOF membranes. As a result of this stepwise screening procedure, the number of promising MOF membranes to be investigated for flue gas separation in future experimental studies was narrowed down from thousands to tens. We finally examined the structure-performance relations of MOFs to understand which properties lead to the greatest promise for flue gas separation and concluded that lanthanide-based MOFs with narrow pore openings (<4.5 Å), low porosities (<0.75), and low surface areas (<1000 m2/g) are the best materials for membrane-based CO2/N2 separations.
Project description:Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) have been intensively studied for applications such as gas storage, gas separation, catalysis, drug delivery, and more. Typically, the development of MOFs involves a post-synthetic solvent exchange process, which usually requires a significant investment of time, energy, labor, and resources. Herein, we propose a novel post-synthetic processing methodology for commercial and laboratory-scale MOFs called "Suspension Processing." Suspension processing is a non-destructive, agitation-based technique that provides efficient solvent exchange, pore cleaning, and surface defect removal in MOFs. Suspension processing has shown the capability to significantly improve the surface area and gas uptake properties of microporous MOFs, including PCN-250, UiO-66, and HKUST-1. Suspension processing displays improved time, energy, and labor efficiency, as well as considerably enhanced product quality. These findings confirm suspension processing as a straightforward methodology with applicability as a universal technique for the production of high-quality microporous materials.
Project description:Establishing new energy-saving systems for gas separation using porous materials is indispensable for ensuring a sustainable future. Herein, we show that ELM-11 ([Cu(BF4)2(4,4'-bipyridine)2]n), a member of flexible metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), exhibits rapid responsiveness to a gas feed and an 'intrinsic thermal management' capability originating from a structural deformation upon gas adsorption (gate-opening). These two characteristics are suitable for developing a pressure vacuum swing adsorption (PVSA) system with rapid operations. A combined experimental and theoretical study reveals that ELM-11 enables the high-throughput separation of CO2 from a CO2/CH4 gas mixture through adiabatic operations, which are extreme conditions in rapid pressure vacuum swing adsorption. We also propose an operational solution to the 'slipping-off' problem, which is that the flexible MOFs cannot adsorb target molecules when the partial pressure of the target gas decreases below the gate-opening pressure. Furthermore, the superiority of our proposed system over conventional systems is demonstrated.
Project description:Understanding the effect of gas molecules on the framework structures upon gas sorption in porous materials is highly desirable for the development of gas storage and separation technologies. However, this remains challenging for flexible metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) which feature "gate-opening/gate-closing" or "breathing" sorption behaviors under external stimuli. Herein, we report such a flexible Cd-MOF that exhibits "gating effect" upon CO2 sorption. The ability of the desolvated flexible Cd-MOF to retain crystal singularity under high pressure enables the direct visualization of the reversible closed-/open-pore states before and after the structural transformation as induced by CO2 adsorption/desorption through in situ single-crystal X-ray diffraction experiments. The binding sites of CO2 molecules within the flexible MOF under high pressure and room temperature have also been identified via combined in situ single-crystal X-ray diffraction and powder X-ray diffraction studies, facilitating the elucidation of the states observed during gate-opening/gate-closing behaviors. Our work therefore lays a foundation to understand the high-pressure gas sorption within flexible MOFs at ambient temperature, which will help to improve the design efforts of new flexible MOFs for applications in responsive gas sorption and separation.