Crystallography of metal-organic frameworks

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Abstract

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are one of the most intensely studied material types in recent times. Their networks, resulting from the formation of strong bonds between inorganic and organic building units, offer unparalled chemical diversity and pore environments of growing complexity. Therefore, advances in single-crystal X-ray diffraction equipment and techniques are required to characterize materials with increasingly larger surface areas, and more complex linkers. In addition, whilst structure solution from powder diffraction data is possible, the area is much less populated and we detail the current efforts going on here. We also review the growing number of reports on diffraction under non-ambient conditions, including the response of MOF structures to very high pressures. Such experiments are important due to the expected presence of stresses in proposed applications of MOFs - evidence suggesting rich and complex behaviour. Given the entwined and inseparable nature of their structure, properties and applications, it is essential that the field of structural elucidation is able to continue growing and advancing, so as not to provide a rate-limiting step on characterization of their properties and incorporation into devices and applications. This review has been prepared with this in mind.

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Gándara, F., & Bennett, T. D. (2014). Crystallography of metal-organic frameworks. IUCrJ, 1, 563–570. https://doi.org/10.1107/S2052252514020351

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