Advanced Functional Glass Composites

The group are interested in exploiting the liquid and glass states as reactive components in the formation of more complex bulk structures. For example, MOF glasses have been used as hosts for secondary crystalline MOF structures, and shown to be capable of stabilising highly porous crystalline materials which are unable to exist in the pure state at room temperature (1, 2).

We have however also shown that two liquid MOFs may be ‘blended’ together, as in organic polymers, and that the strategy can be used to exert control on the resultant physical properties of the glass blends formed (3). Recently, we have extended this approach to produce blended inoganic glass – MOF glass systems, which show superior mechanical properties to their crystalline phases (4). The structural complexity of such materials however require advanced structural characterisation techniques, which probe not only the components themselves, but also the interfaces between them.

Selected References

(1) Synthesis and properties of a compositional series of MIL-51(Al) metal-organic framework crystal-glass composites

C. W. Ashling, D. N. Johnstone, R. N. Widmer, J. Hou, S. M. Collins, A. F. Sapnik, A. Bumstead, P. A. Chater, D. A. Keen and T. D. Bennett*, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2019, 141, 15641-15648.

(3) Liquid phase blending of metal-organic frameworks

L Longley, S. M. Collins, C. Zhou, G. J. Smales, S. E. Norman, N. J. Brownbill, C. W. Ashling, P. A. Chater, R. Tovey, C. Bibiane-Schønlieb, T. F. Headen, N. Terrill, Y. Yue, A. J. Smith, F. Blanc, D. A. Keen, P. A. Midgley and T. D. Bennett,* Nat. Commun., 2018, 9, 2135.

(2) Metal-organic framework crystal-glass composites

J. Hou, C. W. Ashling, S. M. Collins, A. Krajnc, C. Zhou, L. Longley, D. N. Johnstone, P. Chater, S. Li, M. V. Coulet, P. L. Llewellyn, F. X. Coudert, D. A. Keen, P. A. Midgley, G. Mali, V. Chen, T. D. Bennett,* Nat. Commun., 2019, 10, 2580.

(4)  Metal-Organic Framework and Inorganic Glass Composites

L. Longley, C. Calahoo, R. Limbach, J. M. Tuffnell, A. F. Sapnik, M. F. Thorne, D. S. Keeble, D. A. Keen, L. Wondraczek, T. D. Bennett*, Nat. Commun., 2020, accepted.