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Metal-Organic Frameworks with Functional Pores for Recognition of Small Molecules

Banglin Chen (U. of Texas-Pan American)

By enforcing the constrain of the pore/cavity to selectively include and/or exclude some special substrates, and by making use of the weak interactions to direct molecular recognition, we have initiated a research program to rationally design and synthesize functional microporous organic/inorganic hybrid materials for recognition of small molecules. The challenge to develop such functional microporous materials is to functionalize the micropores, so that they can be uniquely suited for specific host-guest recognition. To control the pore sizes/curvatures and to incorporate open metal sites for specific molecular recognition, we have addressed such a challenge, specifically by (1) rational synthesis of ?-Po net to systematically tune the micropores and incorporate functional organic sites, (2) formation of open metal sites within the pores, and (3) construction of mixed-metal-organic frameworks (M'MOFs) to immobilize open/catalytically active metal sites. The special feature of our research is to establish the general principles to construct functional pores and to develop highly robust and functional microporous hybrid materials for their practical applications in small molecules' storage, separation, purification and sensing, in enantioselective separation and asymmetric heterogeneous catalysis

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