Identification Schemes for Metal-Organic Frameworks To Enable Rapid Search and Cheminformatics Analysis

Benjamin J. Bucior, Andrew S. Rosen, Maciej Haranczyk, Zhenpeng Yao, Michael E. Ziebel, Omar K. Farha, Joseph T. Hupp, J. Ilja Siepmann, Alán Aspuru-Guzik, Randall Q. Snurr*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


The modular nature of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) leads to a very large number of possible structures. High-throughput computational screening has led to a rapid increase in property data that has enabled several potential applications for MOFs, including gas storage, separations, catalysis, and other fields. Despite their rich chemistry, MOFs are typically named using an ad hoc approach, which can impede their searchability and the discovery of broad insights. In this article, we develop two systematic MOF identifiers, coined MOFid and MOFkey, and algorithms for deconstructing MOFs into their building blocks and underlying topological network. We review existing cheminformatics formats for small molecules and address the challenges of adapting them to periodic crystal structures. Our algorithms are distributed as open-source software, and we apply them here to extract insights from several MOF databases. Through the process of designing MOFid and MOFkey, we provide a perspective on opportunities for the community to facilitate data reuse, improve searchability, and rapidly apply cheminformatics analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6682-6697
Number of pages16
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 6 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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