Coordination-chemistry control of proton conductivity in the iconic metal-organic framework material HKUST-1

Nak Cheon Jeong, Bappaditya Samanta, Chang Yeon Lee, Omar K. Farha*, Joseph T. Hupp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

368 Scopus citations


HKUST-1, a metal-organic framework (MOF) material containing Cu II-paddlewheel-type nodes and 1,3,5-benzenetricarboxylate struts, features accessible Cu II sites to which solvent or other desired molecules can be intentionally coordinated. As part of a broader investigation of ionic conductivity in MOFs, we unexpectedly observed substantial proton conductivity with the "as synthesized" version of this material following sorption of methanol. Although HKUST-1 is neutral, coordinated water molecules are rendered sufficiently acidic by Cu II to contribute protons to pore-filling methanol molecules and thereby enhance the alternating-current conductivity. At ambient temperature, the chemical identities of the node-coordinated and pore-filling molecules can be independently varied, thus enabling the proton conductivity to be reversibly modulated. The proton conductivity of HKUST-1 was observed to increase by ∼75-fold, for example, when node-coordinated acetonitrile molecules were replaced by water molecules. In contrast, the conductivity became almost immeasurably small when methanol was replaced by hexane as the pore-filling solvent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-54
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 11 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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