Ligand Rigidification for Enhancing the Stability of Metal-Organic Frameworks.
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Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have been developing at an unexpected rate over the last two decades. However, the unsatisfactory chemical stability of most MOFs hinders some of the fundamental studies in this field and the implementation of these materials for practical applications. The stability in a MOF framework is mostly believed to rely upon the robustness of the M-L (M = metal ion, L = ligand) coordination bonds. However, the role of organic linkers as agents of stability to the framework, particularly the linker rigidity/flexibility, has been mostly overlooked. In this work, we demonstrate that a ligand-rigidification strategy can enhance the stability of MOFs. Three series of ligand rotamers with the same connectivity but different flexibility were prepared. Thirteen Zr-based MOFs were constructed with the Zr6O4(OH4)(-CO2) n units ( n = 8 or 12) and corresponding ligands. These MOFs allow us to evaluate the influence of ligand rigidity, connectivities, and structure on the stability of the resulting materials. It was found that the rigidity of the ligands in the framework strongly contributes to the stability of corresponding MOFs. Furthermore, water adsorption was performed on some chemically stable MOFs, showing excellent performance. It is expected that more MOFs with excellent stability could be designed and constructed by utilizing this strategy, ultimately promoting the development of MOFs with higher stability for synthetic chemistry and practical applications.