Metal-organic frameworks


Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a class of compounds consisting of metal ions or clusters co-ordinated to organic ligands to form one, two, or three-dimensional structures. They are a sub-class of coordination polymers, with the special feature that they are often porous. The organic ligands included are sometimes referred to as ‘struts’ or ‘linkers’ and feature enormous internal surface areas.

In some cases, the pores are stable during elimination of the guest molecules (often solvents) and could be refilled with other compounds. Consequently, MOFs are of interest for the storage of gases such as hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide (CO2).

Effectively, MOFs act like a giant sponge – as little as a gram can have a surface area larger than a football field – and can absorb and release CO2 at far lower temperature changes than conventional technology.

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