Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) and related material classes are attracting considerable attention for applications such as gas storage, separations, and catalysis. In contrast, research focused on potential uses in electronic devices is in its infancy. Several sensing concepts in which the tailorable chemistry of MOFs is used to enhance sensitivity or provide chemical specificity have been demonstrated, but in only a few cases are MOFs an integral part of an actual device. The synthesis of a few electrically conducting MOFs and their known structural flexibility suggest that MOF-based electronic devices exploiting these properties could be constructed. It is clear, however, that new fabrication methods are required to take advantage of the unique properties of MOFs and extend their use to the realms of electronic circuitry. In this Concepts article, we describe the basic functional elements needed to fabricate electronic devices and summarize the current state of relevant MOF research, and then review recent work in which MOFs serve as active components in electronic devices. Finally, we propose a high-level roadmap for device-related MOF research, the objective of which is to stimulate thinking within the MOF community concerning the development these materials for applications including sensing, photonics, and microelectronics.
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