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Facile transformation of imine covalent organic frameworks into ultrastable crystalline porous aromatic frameworks

  • Author(s): Li, X
  • Zhang, C
  • Cai, S
  • Lei, X
  • Altoe, V
  • Hong, F
  • Urban, JJ
  • Ciston, J
  • Chan, EM
  • Liu, Y
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2018, The Author(s). The growing interest in two-dimensional imine-based covalent organic frameworks (COFs) is inspired by their crystalline porous structures and the potential for extensive π-electron delocalization. The intrinsic reversibility and strong polarization of imine linkages, however, leads to insufficient chemical stability and optoelectronic properties. Developing COFs with improved robustness and π-delocalization is highly desirable but remains an unsettled challenge. Here we report a facile strategy that transforms imine-linked COFs into ultrastable porous aromatic frameworks by kinetically fixing the reversible imine linkage via an aza-Diels-Alder cycloaddition reaction. The as-formed, quinoline-linked COFs not only retain crystallinity and porosity, but also display dramatically enhanced chemical stability over their imine-based COF precursors, rendering them among the most robust COFs up-to-date that can withstand strong acidic, basic and redox environment. Owing to the chemical diversity of the cycloaddition reaction and structural tunability of COFs, the pores of COFs can be readily engineered to realize pre-designed surface functionality.

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