Insulator-to-metal-like transition in thin films of a biological metal-organic framework

Nat Commun. 2023 May 19;14(1):2857. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-38434-4.


Temperature-induced insulator-to-metal transitions (IMTs) where the electrical resistivity can be altered by over tens of orders of magnitude are most often accompanied by structural phase transition in the system. Here, we demonstrate an insulator-to-metal-like transition (IMLT) at 333 K in thin films of a biological metal-organic framework (bio-MOF) which was generated upon an extended coordination of the cystine (dimer of amino acid cysteine) ligand with cupric ion (spin-1/2 system) – without appreciable change in the structure. Bio-MOFs are crystalline porous solids and a subclass of conventional MOFs where physiological functionalities of bio-molecular ligands along with the structural diversity can primarily be utilized for various biomedical applications. MOFs are usually electrical insulators (so as our expectation with bio-MOFs) and can be bestowed with reasonable electrical conductivity by the design. This discovery of electronically driven IMLT opens new opportunities for bio-MOFs, to emerge as strongly correlated reticular materials with thin film device functionalities.

PMID:37208325 | PMC:PMC10198987 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-023-38434-4


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