Recently, Professor Sun Daofeng from the School of Materials Science and Engineering of our school cooperated with Professor Zhou Hongcai of Texas A&M University in the United States to make new progress in the study of structural control of high-linked rare earth metal-organic frameworks. Related paper ‘Topology Exploration in Highly Connected Rare-Earth Metal-Organic Frameworks via Continuous Hindrance Control’ was published online in April 2019 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and was selected as a cover article. Wang Yutong, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemistry of China University of Petroleum (East China), and Feng Liang, a Ph.D. student at Texas A&M University, are the co-first authors of the paper. Professor Sun Daofeng is the first corresponding author and China University of Petroleum (East China) is the signature unit of the first author.
Metal-organic frameworks (MOF) has become one of the research priorities in the field of chemistry and materials chemistry because they have broad applications prospects in gas adsorption and separation, fluorescent probes, catalysis, drug delivery, electromagnetic materials and other fields due to their large specific surface area, high porosity, tunable pore structure and modified pore environment. The complexity and diversity of current MOF structures have long been limited by the scarcity of highly connected metal clusters and the lack of available topologies.
In response to this problem, Sun Daofeng group made use of the steric hindrance effect of the functional group unique to the multifunctional rare earth metal to accurately design and control the MOF structure from the molecular level. They obtained three new topological structures, introduced the design and control strategy of the MOF material in detail, and explained the transformation process of multi-nuclear rare earth clusters. Finally, the proposed steric control strategy was verified by density functional theory (DFT), and the viewpoints were supported by theoretical calculations. It is named with the name abbreviations of the researches (ytw) and stored in the international topology database (Reticular Chemistry Structure Resource). This work shows that highly complex networks can be rationally designed and constructed through systematic and continuous spatial control, which will provide a strong theoretical basis for the design and construction of functional porous frame materials.