Integration of mesopores and crystal defects in metal-organic frameworks via templated electrosynthesis

Xinchen Kang , Kai Lyu, Lili Li, Louis Kimberley, Bin Wang, Lifei Liu, Yongqiang Cheng, Mark D. Frogley, Svemir Rudić, Anibal J. Ramirez-Cuesta, Robert Dryfe, Buxing Han, Sihai Yang, Martin Schroder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Incorporation of mesopores and active sites into metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to uncover new efficient catalysts is a highly desirable but challenging task. We report the first example of a mesoporous MOF obtained by templated electrosynthesis using an ionic liquid as both electrolyte and template. The mesoporous Cu(II)-MOF MFM-100 has been synthesised in 100 seconds at room temperature, and this material incorporates crystal defects incorporating uncoupled Cu(II) centres as evidenced by confocal fluorescence microscopy and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. MFM-100 prepared in this way shows exceptional catalytic activity for the aerobic oxidation of alcohols to produce aldehydes in near quantitative yield and selectivity under mild conditions, as well as having excellent stability and reusability over repeated cycles. The catalyst-substrate binding interactions have been probed by inelastic neutron scattering. This study offers a simple strategy to create mesopores and active sites simultaneously via electrochemical formation of crystal defects to promote efficient MOF-based catalysis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Communications
Early online date2 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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