Rendering High Surface Area, Mesoporous Metal-Organic Frameworks Electronically Conductive

Timothy C. Wang, Idan Hod, Cornelius O. Audu, Nicolaas A. Vermeulen, Sonbinh T. Nguyen, Omar K. Farha, Joseph T. Hupp

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89 Scopus citations


We report the design and synthesis of a metal-organic framework (MOF)-polythiophene composite that has comparable electronic conductivity to reported conductive 3-D MOFs, but with display and retention of high porosity, including mesoporosity. A robust zirconium MOF, NU-1000, was rendered electronically conductive by first incorporating, via solvent-assisted ligand incorporation (SALI), a carefully designed pentathiophene derivative at a density of one pentamer per hexa-zirconium node. Using a cast film of the intermediate composite (termed pentaSALI) on conductive glass, the incorporated oligothiophene was electrochemically polymerized to yield the conductive composite, Epoly. Depending on the doping level of the polythiophene in the composite, it can be tuned from an insulating state to a semiconduting state with conductivity of 1.3 × 10-7 (S cm-1), which is comparable to values reported for 3-D conductive MOFs. The porosity of the thin-film MOF-polythiophene composite was assessed using decane vapor uptake as determined by quartz crystal microgravimetry (QCM). The results indicate a porosity (pore volume) for Epoly essentially identical to that of bulk pentaSALI, and ∼74% of that of unmodified NU-1000. PentaSALI, and by inference Epoly, displays both micro- and mesoporosity, and features a BET surface area of nearly 1,600 m2·g-1, i.e., substantially larger than yet reported for any other electronically conductive MOF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12584-12591
Number of pages8
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number14
StatePublished - 12 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (Grant No. DE-FG02 87ER13808) and Northwestern University. C.O.A. thanks the U.S. National Science Foundation for an NSF Predoctoral Graduate Fellowship.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.


  • QCM porosity measurement
  • electronic conductivity
  • electropolymerization
  • metal-organic framework
  • polythiophene
  • solvent-assisted ligand incorporation


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