Metal-Organic Frameworks with a Bioinspired Porous Polymer Coating for Sieving Separation

Shengyi Su, Xuhao Zhou, Xinyi Gong, Karam B. Idrees, Kent O. Kirlikovali, Timur Islamoglu, Omar K. Farha*, Nathan C. Gianneschi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polymer/metal-organic framework (MOF) composites have been widely studied for their favorable combination of polymer flexibility and MOF crystallinity. While traditional polymer-coated MOFs maximize the polymer properties at the surface, the dramatic loss of MOF porosity due to blockage by the nonporous polymeric coating remains a problem. Herein, we introduce intrinsically microporous synthetic allomelanin (AM) as a porous coating on the zirconium-based MOF (Zr-MOF) UiO-66 via an in situ surface-constrained oxidative polymerization of the AM precursor, 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (1,8-DHN). Transmission electron microscopy images verify the formation of well-defined nanoparticles with a core-shell morphology (AM@UiO-66), and nitrogen sorption isotherms indicate the porosity of the UiO-66 core remains constant and is not disturbed by the AM coating. Notably, such a strategy could be adapted to MOFs with larger pores, such as MOF-808 by generating porous AM polymer coatings from bulkier DHN oligomers, highlighting the versatility of this method. Finally, we showed that by tuning the AM coating thickness on UiO-66, the hierarchically porous structures of these AM@UiO-66 composites engender excellent hexane isomer separation selectivity and storage capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13195-13203
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 21 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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