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Block co-polyMOFs: morphology control of polymer–MOF hybrid materials


The hybridization of block copolymers and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to create novel materials (block co-polyMOFs, BCPMOFs) with controlled morphologies is reported. In this study, block copolymers containing poly(1,4-benzenedicarboxylic acid, H2bdc) and morphology directing poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) or poly(cyclooctadiene) (poly(COD)) blocks were synthesized for the preparation of BCPMOFs. Block copolymer architecture and weight fractions were found to have a significant impact on the resulting morphology, mediated through the assembly of polymer precursors prior to MOF formation, as determined through dynamic light scattering. Simple modification of block copolymer weight fraction allowed for tuning of particle size and morphology with either faceted and spherical features. Modification of polymer block architecture represents a simple and powerful method to direct morphology in highly crystalline polyMOF materials. Furthermore, the BCPMOFs could be prepared from both Zr4+ and Zn2+ MOFs, yielding hybrid materials with appreciable surface areas and tuneable porosities. The resulting Zn2+ BCPMOF yielded materials with very narrow size distributions and uniform cubic morphologies. The use of topology in BCPMOFs to direct morphology in block copolymer assemblies may open new methodologies to access complex materials far from thermodynamic equilibrium.

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