Dissolving uptake-hindering surface defects in metal-organic frameworks.
ABSTRACT: Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have unique properties which make them perfectly suited for various adsorption and separation applications; however, their uses and efficiencies are often hindered by their limited stability. When most MOFs are exposed to water or humid air, the MOF structure, in particular at the surface, is destroyed, creating surface defects. These surface defects are surface barriers which tremendously hinder the uptake and release of guest molecules and, thus, massively decrease the performance in any application of MOFs. Here, the destruction by exposure to water vapor is investigated by using well-defined MOF films of type HKUST-1 as a model system for uptake experiments with different-sized probe molecules as well as for spectroscopic investigations, complemented by density functional theory calculations of the defect structure. In addition to the characterization of the surface defects, it is found that the pristine MOF structure can be regenerated. We show that the surface defects can be dissolved by exposure to the synthesis solvent, here ethanol, enabling fast uptake and release of guest molecules. These findings show that the storage of MOF materials in a synthesis solvent results in healing of surface defects and enables ideal performance of MOF materials.
Project description:Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are extremely porous, crystalline materials with high surface area for potential use in gas storage, sequestration, and separations. Toward incorporation into structures for these applications, this study compares three variations of surface-bound and free-standing HKUST-1 MOF structures: surface-anchored MOF (surMOF) thin film, drop-cast film, and bulk powder. Herein, effects of HKUST-1 ammonia interaction and framework activation, which is removal of guest molecules via heat, are investigated. Impact on morphology and crystal structure as a function of surface confinement and size variance are examined. Scanning probe microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy monitor changes in morphology and crystal structure, track ammonia uptake, and examine elemental composition. After fabrication, ammonia uptake is observed for all MOF variations, but reveals dramatic morphological and crystal structure changes. However, activation of the framework was found to stabilize morphology. For activated surMOF films, findings demonstrate consistent morphology throughout uptake, removal, and recycling of ammonia over multiple exposures. To understand morphological effects, additional ammonia exposure experiments with controlled post-synthetic solvent adsorbates were conducted utilizing a HKUST-1 standard powder. These findings are foundational for determining the capabilities and limitation of MOF films and powders.
Project description:Metal-organic frameworks are of interest in a number of host-guest applications. However, their weak coordination bonding often leads to instability in aqueous environments, particularly at extreme pH, and hence, is a challenging topic in the field. In this work, a two-step, post-synthetic polymerization method is used to create a series of highly hydrophobic, stable MOF composites. The MOFs are first coated with thin layers of polydopamine from free-base dopamine under a mild oxygen atmosphere, which then undergoes a Michael addition to covalently graft hydrophobic molecules to the external MOF surface. This easy, mild post-synthetic modification is shown to significantly improve the stability of a number of structurally diverse MOFs including HKUST-1 (Cu), ZIF-67 (Co), ZIF-8 (Zn), UiO-66 (Zr), Cu-TDPAT (Cu), Mg-MOF-74 (Mg) and MIL-100 (Fe) in wet, caustic (acidic and basic) environments as determined by powder X-ray diffraction and surface area measurements.
Project description:Three-dimensional carbon-based structures have proven useful for tailoring material properties in structural mechanical and energy storage applications. One approach to obtain them has been by carbonization of selected metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with catalytic metals, but this is not applicable to most common MOF structures. Here, we present a strategy to transform common MOFs, by guest inclusions and high-temperature MOF-guest interactions, into complex carbon-based, diatom-like, hierarchical structures (named for the morphological similarities with the naturally existing diatomaceous species). As an example, we introduce metal salt guests into HKUST-1-type MOFs to generate a family of carbon-based nano-diatoms with two to four levels of structural hierarchy. We report control of the morphology by simple changes in the chemistry of the MOF and guest, with implications for the formation mechanisms. We demonstrate that one of these structures has unique advantages as a fast-charging lithium-ion battery anode. The tunability of composition should enable further studies of reaction mechanisms and result in the growth of a myriad of unprecedented carbon-based structures from the enormous variety of currently available MOF-guest candidates.
Project description:Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) in their free powder form have exhibited superior capacities for many gases when compared to other materials, due to their tailorable functionality and high surface areas. Specifically, the MOF HKUST-1 binds small Lewis bases, such as ammonia, with its coordinatively unsaturated copper sites. We describe here the use of HKUST-1 in mixed-matrix membranes (MMMs) prepared from polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) for the removal of ammonia gas. These MMMs exhibit ammonia capacities similar to their hypothetical capacities based on the weight percent of HKUST-1 in each MMM. HKUST-1 in its powder form is unstable toward humid conditions; however, upon exposure to humid environments for prolonged periods of time, the HKUST-1 MMMs exhibit outstanding structural stability, and maintain their ammonia capacity. Overall, this study has achieved all of the critical and combined elements for real-world applications of MOFs: high MOF loadings, fully accessible MOF surfaces, enhanced MOF stabilization, recyclability, mechanical stability, and processability. This study is a critical step in advancing MOFs to a stable, usable, and enabling technology.
Project description:PIXEL has been used to perform calculations of adsorbate-adsorbent interaction energies between a range of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and simple guest molecules. Interactions have been calculated for adsorption between MOF-5 and Ar, H<sub>2</sub>, and N<sub>2</sub>; Zn<sub>2</sub>(BDC)<sub>2</sub>(TED) (BDC = 1,4-benzenedicarboxylic acid, TED = triethylenediamine) and H<sub>2</sub>; and HKUST-1 and CO<sub>2</sub>. The locations of the adsorption sites and the calculated energies, which show differences in the Coulombic or dispersion characteristic of the interaction, compare favourably to experimental data and literature energy values calculated using density functional theory.
Project description:Composite metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) tend to possess complex interfaces that prevent facile and rational design. Here we present a joint computational/experimental workflow that screens thousands of MOFs and identifies the optimal MOF pairs that can seamlessly connect to one another by taking advantage of the fact that the metal nodes of one MOF can form coordination bonds with the linkers of the second MOF. Six MOF pairs (HKUST-1@MOF-5, HKUST-1@IRMOF-18, UiO-67@HKUST-1, PCN-68@MOF-5, UiO-66@MIL-88B(Fe) and UiO-67@MIL-88C(Fe)) yielded from our theoretical predictions were successfully synthesized, leading to clean single crystalline MOF@MOF, demonstrating the power of our joint workflow. Our work can serve as a starting point to accelerate the discovery of novel MOF composites that can potentially be used for many different applications.
Project description:A major goal of metal-organic framework (MOF) research is the expansion of pore size and volume. Although many approaches have been attempted to increase the pore size of MOF materials, it is still a challenge to construct MOFs with precisely customized pore apertures for specific applications. Herein, we present a new method, namely linker labilization, to increase the MOF porosity and pore size, giving rise to hierarchical-pore architectures. Microporous MOFs with robust metal nodes and pro-labile linkers were initially synthesized. The mesopores were subsequently created as crystal defects through the splitting of a pro-labile-linker and the removal of the linker fragments by acid treatment. We demonstrate that linker labilization method can create controllable hierarchical porous structures in stable MOFs, which facilitates the diffusion and adsorption process of guest molecules to improve the performances of MOFs in adsorption and catalysis.
Project description:Three-dimensional carbon-based porous materials have proven to be quite useful for tailoring material properties in the energy conservation and environmental protection applications. In view of the three-dimensional and well-defined structure of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), a novel carbon-based magnetic porous material (HKUST-Fe3O4) has been designed and constructed by MOF-guest interactions of high-temperature pyrolysis. The obtained HKUST-Fe3O4 exhibited the unique features of superparamagnetism, a macro/mesoporous structure, environmental protection (inexistence of toxic heavy metal ions), and physicochemical stability and has shown high adsorption capacity and rapid adsorption for carcinogenic organic pollutants (for example, rhodamine B) with an environmentally friendly character and excellent reusability. We demonstrate that the unique/superior advantages of HKUST-Fe3O4 could meet the requirements of environment cleaning, especially for removing the targeted organic pollutant from water. Moreover, the specific HKUST-Fe3O4 and organic pollutant interaction mechanism has been analyzed in detail via parameter-free calculations. This study proposes a promising strategy for constructing novel carbon-based magnetic nanomaterials for various applications, not limitated to pollutant removal.
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:Introducing hierarchical pore structure to microporous materials such as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) can be beneficial for reactions where the rate of reaction is limited by low rates of diffusion or high pressure drop. This advantageous pore structure can be obtained by defect formation, mostly via post-synthetic acid etching, which has been studied extensively on water-stable MOFs. Here we show that a water-unstable HKUST-1 MOF can also be modified in a corresponding manner by using phosphoric acid as a size-selective etching agent and a mixture of dimethyl sulfoxide and methanol as a dilute solvent. Interestingly, we demonstrate that the etching process which is time- and acidity- dependent, can result in formation of defective HKUST-1 with extra interconnected hexagonal macropores without compromising on the bulk crystallinity. These findings suggest an intelligent scalable synthetic method for formation of hierarchical porosity in MOFs that are prone to hydrolysis, for improved molecular accessibility and diffusion for catalysis.