Lead Research Organisation: University of St Andrews
Department Name: Chemistry


In this project, we propose to develop an entirely new class of hybrid material that contain regions of both zeolite and metal-organic framework (MOF) - we call these materials ZeoMOFs. Microporous materials, including zeolites and MOFs, make up one of the most important classes of material in current research: zeolites are heavily used in industry and MOFs are some of the most exciting materials to have been prepared over the last two decades. While their structural architectures look similar (both types of material are porous) their chemistries are quite different. This means that a material that was part zeolite and part MOF would undoubtedly have some very interesting properties. However, the synthesis of such an intimate ZeoMOF hybrid is difficult, and likely impossible, using traditional approaches because of the incompatibility of their synthesis conditions. This means we have to design a new approach. In this project we will develop some of the recent synthetic work we have completed in the area of manipulation of structures using the ADOR process. In this project we will use these recent developments to first prepare zeolite layers. Then under carefully controlled conditions where the zeolite layers remain stable we use use the 'softer' conditions used in MOF synthesis to intercalate MOF species in between the zeolite layers and connect them together. The initial materials prepared are likely to be disordered but as we gain the necessary experience with the chemistry we expect to prepare more crystalline porous solids. The materials will be challenging to characterise, and we will use a combination of scattering and magnetic resonance (and other) techniques to fully understand the structure of the materials and then we will complete an activity aimed at understanding the properties of the new solids, with particuar focus on ascertaining how the porosity, catalytic and adsorption (e.g. for separation) properties are modified compared to zeolites and MOFs.


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