The research activities developed within Professor Eddaoudi's group mainly aimed at designing new functional solid-state materials for targeting specific applications, namely, gas storage-separation, catalysis, chemical sensing. Accordingly, Prof. Eddaoudi has settled different powerful strategies to design made-to-order Metal Organic Framework (MOF) materials to address some of challenging and enduring societal issues.
The molecular building block (MBB) approach offers the potential to design MOFs where structural information is included into the building blocks (i.e. the organic ligands and inorganic clusters). Successful implementation of the MBB approach requires isolation of the synthetic conditions that promote the formation of a desired inorganic MBB to minimize the number of possible resulting framework topologies.
The ability to target nets that are exclusive for a combination of building blocks presents greater potential toward prediction, design, and synthesis of the resultant framework in crystal chemistry. Our group demonstrates this strategy by utilizing metal-organic polygons and polyhedra (MOPs), which can be externally functionalized, as supermolecular building blocks (SBBs) for nets that are unique.
Our group has recently introduced a novel building approach, the supermolecular building layer (SBL) approach, where readily targeted 2D MOF layers (SBLs) based on edge transitive nets [e.g., sql, hxl, hcb, kgm, kgd] and judiciously selected pillars (i.e., organic ligands)} are utilized to construct targeted, functional 3D porous MOFs.
Zeolite-like frameworks, based on tetrahedral nodes, are of tremendous interest due to the myriad potential applications associated with their unique structures and intrinsic pore systems. Nevertheless, the scope of applications is restricted by the intricacy to construct zeolite-like frameworks with extra-large cavities/windows and/or periodic intra-framework organic functionality.
Our quest for made-to-order materials that can address efficiently the separation and capture of CO2 at different concentrations has prompted us to explore the potential of various fluorinated MOFs with different structural properties and chemical compositions. Indeed, the successful practice of reticular chemistry allowed us to fabricate a series of isoreticular fluorinated MOFs with periodically arrayed hexafluorosilicate (SIFSIX) pillars, called SIFSIX-3-Zn, SIFSIX-3-Cu and SIFSIX-3-Ni.
Our research group focuses on the development of novel methodologies to design, discovery and development of nanoporous materials, and to build them into hierarchical structures and complex forms for wide ranges of applications including bio/gas separations, adsorbents, membranes and selective catalysts. We are also fabricating thin films and of porous materials such as MOFs, and zeolite like metal-organic framework (ZMOFs) to use them as membranes for high-resolution gas separations.
Due to the crucial requirement for practical applications, such as catalysis, porous membranes, biomedical imaging, biosensing, and drug delivery etc, scaling down the size of MOFs into nano- or micro-regime is becoming a new rapidly developing research area.
The anionic character and the large accessible voids of rho-ZMOF have allowed the full exchange of cations with various organic and inorganic cations. This ability has led us to investigate the encapsulation of cationic probes (i.e. cridine chromophores, etc.) to sense neutral molecules.