Toward the rational design of multifunctional nanomaterials: synthesis and characterization of functionalized metal-organic frameworks
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Metal-organic frameworks (or coordination polymers) are a recently-identified class of porous polymeric materials, consisting of metal ions or clusters linked together by organic bridging ligands. The major advantage of MOFs over other traditional materials, such as zeolites or activated carbons, is that their synthesis methods have provided an extensive class of crystalline materials with high stability, tunable metrics, and organic functionality. The ability to modify the physical environment of the pores and cavities within MOFs allow tuning of the interactions with guest species, and serves as a route to tailor the chemical stability and/or reactivity of the frameworks for specific applications. The classical way to incorporate functional groups into a MOF is the modification of the organic precursor with specific substituents before synthesizing the MOF itself; we call this approach pre-functionalization method. Functionalization of organic precursors is the initial and necessary step to obtaining functionalized isostructural MOFs and also provides the possibility for the post-synthetic modification of MOFs. However, in some cases, the functional groups may interfere with MOF synthesis and alter the topology of desired MOF. The goal of this proposed research is to explore the possibilities of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) as novel porous structures, to study the effect of functional groups on the topologies and adsorption behavior of MOFs, and to understand how the synthesis conditions affect the phase purity and the in-situ reaction of ligands.