Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids

Control of the coordination status of the open metal sites in metal-organic frameworks for high performance separation of polar compounds.

PMID 22480159


Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with open metal sites have great potential for enhancing adsorption separation of the molecules with different polarities. However, the elution and separation of polar compounds on such MOFs packed columns using nonpolar solvents is difficult due to too strong interaction between polar compounds and the open metal sites. Here, we report the control of the coordination status of the open metal sites in MOFs by adjusting the content of methanol (MeOH) in the mobile phase for fast and high-resolution separation of polar compounds. To this end, high-performance liquid chromatographic separation of nitroaniline, aminophenol and naphthol isomers, sulfadimidine, and sulfanilamide on the column packed with MIL-101(Cr) possessing open metal sites was performed. The interaction between the open metal sites of MIL-101(Cr) and the polar analytes was adjusted by adding an appropriate amount of MeOH to the mobile phase to achieve the effective separation of the polar analytes due to the competition of MeOH with the analytes for the open metal sites. Fourier transform infrared spectra and X-ray photoelectron spectra confirmed the interaction between MeOH and the open metal sites of MIL-101(Cr). Thermodynamic parameters were measured to evaluate the effect of the content of MeOH in the mobile phase on the separation of polar analytes on MIL-101(Cr) packed column. This approach provides reproducible and high performance separation of polar compounds on the open metal sites-containing MOFs.

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