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Polymer - MOF Nanocomposite Materials

Polymer-MOF Nanocomposite Materials [2012]



Nanoparticles of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) (Fig.a) can be incorporated into a polymeric matrix to afford nanocomposite membranes with enhanced functional properties. Gas-separation membranes for energy-efficient commercial applications must exhibit exceptional selectivity and permeability, as well as an excellent combination of thermo-mechanical properties to survive severe operating conditions. To date no known MOF material fulfils all of these prerequisites simultaneously.

Recently a novel route has been developed in the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge (Q. Song & E. Sivaniah, see DOI) for fabricating a polymer-MOF nanocomposite membrane (Fig.b) that exhibits excellent separation capabilities. The breakthrough lies in the use of a new colloidal processing route to homogeneously disperse MOF nanoparticles. This groundbreaking work has opened up new possibilities for designing a variety of novel nanocomposites incorporating different polymer matrices and MOF nanostructures, whose mechanical and multifunctional properties both can be combined and tailored to match the required applications.

Such nanocomposite materials also have significant potential for use in drug delivery and desalination applications.