Introduction to Metal–Organic Frameworks

Metal–organic frameworks, or MOFs, have emerged as an extensive class of crystalline materials with ultrahigh porosity (up to 90% free volume) and enormous internal surface areas, extending beyond 6 000 m2/g. These properties, together with the extraordinary degree of variability for both the organic and inorganic components of their structures, make MOFs of interest for potential applications in clean energy, most significantly as storage media for gases such as hydrogen and methane, and as high-capacity adsorbents to meet various separation needs. Additional applications in membranes, thin-film devices, catalysis, and biomedical imaging are increasingly gaining importance. On a fundamental level, MOFs epitomize the beauty of chemical structures and the power of combining organic and inorganic chemistry, two disciplines often regarded as disparate. Since the 1990s, this area of chemistry has experienced an almost unparalleled growth, as evidenced by not only the sheer number of research papers published but also the ever-expanding scope of the research. Although the number of review articles and monographs has also escalated in the last five years, we believe this thematic issue of Chemical Reviews, comprising the most up-to-date contributions from leading MOF researchers all over the world, is necessary to mark the progress made thus far in a comprehensive manner. The scope of the volume ranges from topology analysis and molecular simulations to synthesis, from adsorptive and optical to ferroelectric properties, and from gas storage, separations, and catalysis to applications in biomedicine. As such, we hope that it will serve as a valuable resource for new and current researchers in the field alike.

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