Transformation of Metal-Organic Frameworks/Coordination Polymers into Functional Nanostructured Materials: Experimental Approaches Based on Mechanistic Insights

Kyung Joo Lee, Jae Hwa Lee, Sungeun Jeoung, Hoi Ri Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations


Conspectus: Nanostructured materials such as porous metal oxides, metal nanoparticles, porous carbons, and their composites have been intensively studied due to their applications, including energy conversion and storage devices, catalysis, and gas storage. Appropriate precursors and synthetic methods are chosen for synthesizing the target materials. About a decade ago, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and coordination polymers (CPs) emerged as new precursors for these nanomaterials because they contain both organic and inorganic species that can play parallel roles as both a template and a precursor under given circumstances. Thermal conversions of MOFs offer a promising toolbox for synthesizing functional nanomaterials that are difficult to obtain using conventional methods. Although understanding the conversion mechanism is important for designing MOF precursors for the synthesis of nanomaterials with desired physicochemical properties, comprehensive discussions revealing the transformation mechanism remain insufficient.This Account reviews the utilization of MOFs/CPs as precursors and their transformation into functional nanomaterials with a special emphasis on understanding the relationship between the intrinsic nature of the parent MOFs and the daughter nanomaterials while discussing various experimental approaches based on mechanistic insights. We discuss nanomaterials categorized by materials such as metal-based nanomaterials and porous carbons. For metal-based nanomaterials transformed from MOFs, the nature of metal ions in the MOF scaffolds affects the physicochemical properties of the resultant materials including the phase, composite, and morphology of nanomaterials. Organic ligands are also involved in the in situ chemical reactions with metal species during thermal conversion. We describe these conversion mechanisms by classifying the phase of metal components in the resultant materials. Along with the metal species, carbon is a major element in MOFs, and thus, the appropriate choice of precursor MOFs and heat treatment can be expected to yield carbon-based nanomaterials. We address the relationship between the nature of the parent MOF and the porosity of the daughter carbon material - a controversial issue in the synthesis of porous carbons. Based on an understanding of the mechanism of MOF conversion, morphologically or compositionally advanced materials are synthesized by adopting appropriate MOF precursors and thermolysis conditions.Despite the progressive understanding of conversion phenomena of MOFs/CPs, this research field still has rooms to be explored and developed, ultimately in order to precisely control the properties of resultant nanomaterials. In this sense, we should pay more attention to the mechanism investigations of MOF conversion. We believe this Account will facilitate a deeper understanding of MOF/CP conversion routes and will accelerate further development in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2684-2692
Number of pages9
JournalAccounts of Chemical Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - 21 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge financial support from the National Research Foundation (NRF) Grant funded by the Korean Government (MSIP) (No. 2016R1A5A1009405 and 2016R1D1A1B03933809). J.H.L. acknowledges the Global Ph.D. Fellowship (NRF-2013H1A2A1033501).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.


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