The group has worked extensively on the synthesis and structure of metal-organic framework gels. Particular, our interest lies in the formation of MOF nanoparticles of ca. 10nm in diameter, which then agglomerate upon drying to form xerogels, or aerogels. These peculiar structures to all intensive purposes may look like glasses, though are in actual fact still crystalline (though the broad Bragg peaks may resemble the diffuse scattering from a glass).

The general area is summarized in a review (1), though our work includes the generalization of the gel state to form hierarachically porous zirconium MOFs (2), and also those of zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (3, 4).

Selected References

(1) Metal-organic framework gels and monoliths

J. Hou, A. F. Sapnik and T. D. Bennett*, Chem. Sci., 2020,11, 310-323.

(2) Gel-based morphological design of zirconium metal-organic frameworks

B. Bueken, N. V. Velthoven, T. Willhammar, T. Stassin, I. Stassen, D. Keen, R. Ameloot, D. De Vos* and T. D. Bennett*, Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 3939-3948.

(3) Mechanically and chemically robust ZIF-8 monoliths with high volumetric adsorption capacity

T. Tian, J. Velazquez-Garcia, T. D. Bennett and D. Fairen-Jimenez*, J. Mat. Chem. A, 2014, 3, 2999-3005.

(4) Comparison of the ionic conductivity properties of microporous and mesoporous MOFs infiltrated with a Na-ion containing IL mixture

J. M. Tuffnell, J. K. Morzy, N. D. Kelly, R. Tan, Q. Song, C. Ducati, T. D. Bennett* and S. E. Dutton*, Dalton Trans., 2020, 49, 15914-15924.

(5) Mixed Hierarchical Local Structure in a Disordered Metal–Organic Framework

A. F. Sapnik, I. Bechis, S. M. Collins, D. N. Johnstone, G. Divitini, A. J. Smith, P. A. Chater, M. Addicoat, T. Johnson, D. A. Keen, K. E. Jelfs and T. D. Bennett*, Nat. Commun., 2021, 12, 2062.