Symmetry-Guided Synthesis of Highly Porous Metal–Organic Frameworks with Fluorite Topology


  • This work was supported as part of the Center for Gas Separations Relevant to Clean Energy Technologies, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award Number DE-SC0001015, part of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Program under Award Number DE-FC36-07G017033 and part of the Methane Opportunities for Vehicular Energy (MOVE) Program, an ARPA-e project under Award Number DE-AR0000249.


Two stable, non-interpenetrated MOFs, PCN-521 and PCN-523, were synthesized by a symmetry-guided strategy. Augmentation of the 4-connected nodes in the fluorite structure with a rigid tetrahedral ligand and substitution of the 8-connected nodes by the Zr/Hf clusters yielded MOFs with large octahedral interstitial cavities. They are the first examples of Zr/Hf MOFs with tetrahedral linkers. PCN-521 has the largest BET surface area (3411 m2 g-1), pore size (20.5×20.5×37.4 Å) and void volume (78.5%) of MOFs formed from tetrahedral ligands. This work not only demonstrates a successful implementation of rational design of MOFs with desired topology, but also provides a systematic way of constructing non-interpenetrated MOFs with high porosity.