Cyclodextrin Metal-Organic Frameworks and Their Applications

Indranil Roy, J. Fraser Stoddart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


ConspectusCyclodextrin-based metal-organic frameworks (CD-MOFs), derived from γ-cyclodextrin (γ-CD) and alkali metal cations, constitute a class of porous, renewable, and edible MOFs that can be synthesized from a naturally occurring carbohydrate on a large scale. γ-CD is a C8-symmetrical cyclic oligosaccharide composed of eight asymmetric α-1,4-linked d-glucopyranosyl residues that possesses a bucket-shaped cavity with an inner diameter of ∼1 nm and a depth of ∼0.8 nm. Upon combination of 1 equiv of γ-CD with 8 equiv of potassium hydroxide in an aqueous solution, followed by vapor diffusion of MeOH (or EtOH) into this solution during several days, CD-MOF-1 is obtained as cubic crystals. This carbohydrate-based MOF, which was discovered serendipitously in 2010, was the first highly crystalline CD-MOF to be obtained. X-ray crystallography of a single crystal reveals that it adopts the space group I432 with unit cell dimensions of approximately 31 × 31 × 31 Å3. Other CD-MOFs, namely, CD-MOF-2 and CD-MOF-3, can be obtained when potassium ions are replaced by rubidium and cesium ions, respectively. CD-MOFs comprise extended body-centered frameworks of (γ-CD)6 cubic units, which contain spherical pores that reside at the center of the cubes, interconnected by alkali metal cations, forming both cylindrical and triangular channels.During the past decade, CD-MOFs have emerged as a useful class of multifunctional materials based on porous frameworks with extended structures displaying robust crystallinity, permanent porosity, and excellent biocompatibility. The family of CD-MOFs has been joined by a growing collection of metal nodes involving alkali metal cations (Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+, Cs+) and γ-CD as well as its derivatives. As a result of the ability of their extended porous frameworks to absorb guest molecules, including gases, drugs, metal-based nanoclusters, and nanoparticles, CD-MOFs have potential applications in areas as disparate as templating syntheses of metal-based nanoparticles and gels, adsorption and separation, trapping highly reactive intermediates, catalyst supports, sensing, electrical memory, and drug delivery.In this Account, we tell the story of CD-MOFs, a scientific discovery made in our research laboratory at Northwestern University, and the opportunities to use these environmentally friendly porous materials across different fields of science and technology. The story includes representative synthetic protocols for the preparation of CD-MOFs, along with an overview of their structural features, functionalization, and chemical modification aimed at increasing their stabilities in aqueous environments, and finally, a summary of their applications. The examples we will discuss, however, are only illustrative, and there is a significant body of additional findings emanating from our laboratory and others, especially in the realm of developing new synthetic strategies, tuning the framework stabilities, and exploring the guest inclusion and emergent properties of CD-MOFs. We refer readers to the original communications, papers, and reviews cited herein. We hope that, in the telling of the story of CD-MOFs, this Account may promote new scientific discoveries and further development of CD-MOF-based technologies in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1440-1453
Number of pages14
JournalAccounts of chemical research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 16 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Cyclodextrin Metal-Organic Frameworks and Their Applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this