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Journal of the American Chemical Society

Coordination-chemistry control of proton conductivity in the iconic metal-organic framework material HKUST-1.


PMID 22148287

Abstract

HKUST-1, a metal-organic framework (MOF) material containing Cu(II)-paddlewheel-type nodes and 1,3,5-benzenetricarboxylate struts, features accessible Cu(II) sites to which solvent or other desired molecules can be intentionally coordinated. As part of a broader investigation of ionic conductivity in MOFs, we unexpectedly observed substantial proton conductivity with the "as synthesized" version of this material following sorption of methanol. Although HKUST-1 is neutral, coordinated water molecules are rendered sufficiently acidic by Cu(II) to contribute protons to pore-filling methanol molecules and thereby enhance the alternating-current conductivity. At ambient temperature, the chemical identities of the node-coordinated and pore-filling molecules can be independently varied, thus enabling the proton conductivity to be reversibly modulated. The proton conductivity of HKUST-1 was observed to increase by ~75-fold, for example, when node-coordinated acetonitrile molecules were replaced by water molecules. In contrast, the conductivity became almost immeasurably small when methanol was replaced by hexane as the pore-filling solvent.

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