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Acc Chem Res. 2017 Feb 21;50(2):407-417. doi: 10.1021/acs.accounts.6b00526. Epub 2017 Jan 20.

Pore Space Partition in Metal-Organic Frameworks.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California , Riverside, California 92521, United States.
Key Laboratory of Macromolecular Science of Shaanxi Province, School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Shaanxi Normal University , Xi'an, Shaanxi 710062, China.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, California State University Long Beach , 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90840, United States.
College of Materials and Chemical Engineering, Hubei Provincial Collaborative Innovation Center for New Energy Microgrid, Key Laboratory of Inorganic Nonmetallic Crystalline and Energy Conversion Materials, China Three Gorges University , Yichang 443002, China.


Metal-organic framework (MOF) materials have emerged as one of the favorite crystalline porous materials (CPM) because of their compositional and geometric tunability and many possible applications. In efforts to develop better MOFs for gas storage and separation, a number of strategies including creation of open metal sites and implantation of Lewis base sites have been used to tune host-guest interactions. In addition to these chemical factors, the geometric features such as pore size and shape, surface area, and pore volume also play important roles in sorption energetics and uptake capacity. For efficient capture of small gas molecules such as carbon dioxide under ambient conditions, large surface area or high pore volume are often not needed. Instead, maximizing host-guest interactions or the density of binding sites by encaging gas molecules in snug pockets of pore space can be a fruitful approach. To put this concept into practice, the pore space partition (PSP) concept has been proposed and has achieved a great experimental success. In this account, we will highlight many efforts to implement PSP in MOFs and impact of PSP on gas uptake performance. In the synthetic design of PSP, it is helpful to distinguish between factors that contribute to the framework formation and factors that serve the purpose of PSP. Because of the need for complementary structural roles, the synthesis of MOFs with PSP often involves multicomponent systems including mixed ligands, mixed inorganic nodes, or both. It is possible to accomplish both framework formation and PSP with a single type of polyfunctional ligands that use some functional groups (called framework-forming group) for framework formation and the remaining functional groups (called pore-partition group) for PSP. Alternatively, framework formation and PSP can be shouldered by different chemical species. For example, in a mixed-ligand system, one ligand (called framework-forming agent) can play the role of the framework formation while the other type of ligand (called pore-partition agent) can assume the role of PSP. PSP is sensitive to the types of inorganic secondary building units (SBUs). The coexistence of SBUs complementary in charge, connectivity, and so on can promote PSP. The use of heterometallic systems can promote the diversity of SBUs coexistent under a given condition. Heterometallic system with metal ions of different oxidation states also provides the charge tunability of SBUs and the overall framework, providing an additional level of control in self-assembly and ultimately in the materials' properties. Of particular interest is the PSP in MIL-88 type (acs-type topology) structure, which has led to a huge family of CPMs (called pacs CPMs, pacs = partitioned acs) exhibiting low isosteric heat of adsorption and yet superior CO2 uptake capacity.

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