Proton Transport in a Highly Conductive Porous Zirconium-Based Metal–Organic Framework: Molecular Insight



The water stable UiO-66(Zr)-(CO2H)2 MOF exhibits a superprotonic conductivity of 2.3×10−3 S cm−1 at 90 °C and 95 % relative humidity. Quasi-elastic neutron scattering measurements combined with aMS-EVB3 molecular dynamics simulations were able to probe individually the dynamics of both confined protons and water molecules and to further reveal that the proton transport is assisted by the formation of a hydrogen-bonded water network that spans from the tetrahedral to the octahedral cages of this MOF. This is the first joint experimental/modeling study that unambiguously elucidates the proton-conduction mechanism at the molecular level in a highly conductive MOF.