L. Peng, S. Yang, S. Jawahery, S. M. Moosavi, A. J. Huckaba, M. Asgari, E. Oveisi, M. K. Nazeeruddin, B. Smit, and W. L. Queen, Preserving Porosity of Mesoporous Metal–Organic Frameworks through the Introduction of Polymer Guests J Am Chem Soc (2019) doi: 10.1021/jacs.9b05967
High internal surface areas, an asset that is highly sought after in material design, has brought metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) to the forefront of materials research. In fact, a major focus in the field is on creating innovative ways to maximize MOF surface areas. Despite this, large-pore MOFs, particularly those with mesopores, continue to face problems with pore collapse upon activation. Herein, we demonstrate an easy method to inhibit this problem via the introduction of small quantities of polymer. For several mesoporous, isostructural MOFs, known as M2(NDISA) (where M = Ni2+, Co2+, Mg2+, or Zn2+), the accessible surface areas are increased dramatically, from 5 to 50 times, as the polymer effectively pins the MOFs open. Postpolymerization, the high surface areas and crystallinity are now readily maintained after heating the materials to 150 °C under vacuum. These activation conditions, which could not previously be attained due to pore collapse, also provide accessibility to high densities of open metal coordination sites. Molecular simulations are used to provide insight into the origin of instability of the M2(NDISA) series and to propose a potential mechanism for how the polymers immobilize the linkers, improving framework stability. Last, we demonstrate that the resulting MOF–polymer composites, referred to as M2(NDISA)-PDA, offer a perfect platform for the appendage/immobilization of small nanocrystals inside rendering high-performance catalysts. After decorating one of the composites with Pd (average size: 2 nm) nanocrystals, the material shows outstanding catalytic activity for Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling reactions.