Imaging the dynamic influence of functional groups on metal-organic frameworks

Nat Commun. 2023 Aug 10;14(1):4835. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-40590-6.


Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with different functional groups have wide applications, while the understanding of functionalization influences remains insufficient. Previous researches focused on the static changes in electronic structure or chemical environment, while it is unclear in the aspect of dynamic influence, especially in the direct imaging of dynamic changes after functionalization. Here we use integrated differential phase contrast scanning transmission electron microscopy (iDPC-STEM) to directly ‘see’ the rotation properties of benzene rings in the linkers of UiO-66, and observe the high correlation between local rigidity and the functional groups on the organic linkers. The rigidity is then correlated to the macroscopic properties of CO2 uptake, indicating that functionalization can change the capability through not only static electronic effects, but also dynamic rotation properties. To the best of our knowledge this is the first example of a technique to directly image the rotation properties of linkers in MOFs, which provides an approach to study the local flexibility and paves the way for potential applications in capturing, separation and molecular machine.

PMID:37563138 | PMC:PMC10415300 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-023-40590-6


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