Topological Strain-Induced Regioselective Linker Elimination in a Chiral Zr(IV)-Based Metal-Organic Framework

Wei Gong, Wenqiang Zhang, Florencia A. Son, Kuiwei Yang, Zhijie Chen, Xinfa Chen, Jianwen Jiang, Yan Liu*, Omar K. Farha, Yong Cui

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Zr-carboxylate metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are structurally robust materials, in part due to their strong coordination bonds. The regioselective Zr–O bond cleavage and formation between 3D architectures are thus challenging and are heretofore unexplored. In this work, by introducing highly flexible 18-crown-6-ether functionalities into a homochiral Zr-MOF, we report an unprecedented topology transition in which a 4,10-connected framework undergoes a rapid solid-state transition into a thermodynamically more stable 4,8-connected analog by a regioselective-linker-elimination under ambient conditions. The transition process was unambiguously unraveled by single-crystal and powder X-ray diffraction studies, and we proposed a possible transition mechanism based on various control experiments and theoretical calculations. The excellent chemical stability and substantially expanded porosity and pore apertures endowed the transformed chiral MOF with an exceptional capacity for the enantioadsorptive and solid-phase extractive separation of the racemic drug molecule of lansoprazole with 98% ee and 93% ee, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-201
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 14 2021


  • SDG3: Good health and well-being
  • SDG7: Affordable and clean energy
  • Zr-carboxylate
  • chiral separation
  • crown ether
  • metal-organic framework
  • single-crystal-to-single-crystal
  • solid-phase extractive separation
  • topology transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Materials Chemistry


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