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Free pores for molecule transport
Date:7/31/2014

This news release is available in German.

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) can take up gases similar to a sponge that soaks up liquids. Hence, these highly porous materials are suited for storing hydrogen or greenhouse gases. However, loading of many MOFs is inhibited by barriers. Scien-tists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) now report in Nature Communications that the barriers are caused by cor-rosion of the MOF surface. This can be prevented by water-free synthesis and storing strategies.

MOFs are crystalline materials consisting of metallic nodes and organic connection elements. They have a very large surface area and are highly porous. Like a sponge, they can take up other mole-cules. MOFs, produced on a large technical scale, are highly suited for the storage of gases: When the gas enters the solid, it is partly liquefied. The density increases and much more molecules can be stored in the same volume. Among others, MOFs are suited for the storage of hydrogen in the tank of hydrogen-driven automobiles. They can also be used for storing greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane. Other applications are substance separation, catalysis, and sensor technology. For any application, an appropri-ate MOF can be produced. Mostly, MOFs have the form of a pow-der. In the past ten years, more than 20,000 different representatives of this class have been synthesized and characterized in detail.

"For nearly all applications, loading of these highly porous crystals with molecules is essential," Lars Heinke of the Institute of Function-al Interfaces (IFG) of KIT explains. "The efficiency of molecule transport into the porous particles is crucial to the performance of the MOFs." In many MOF materials, however, loading is inhibited largely by so-cal
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Contact: Monika Landgraf
49-721-608-47414
Karlsruher Institut fr Technologie (KIT)
Source:Eurekalert  

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