I’m sure you’re all aware of MOFs and COFs – Metal Organic Frameworks and Covalent Organic Frameworks. They’re porous nanomaterials put together from various atomic centres, linked by organic ligands. They’ve been toted as the answer to many of science’s great problems, from hydrogen storage to CO2 capture, and have been constructed in a whole manner of different structures and orientations. And, now, we have the weave.
Today I found this article on the Science Mag website describing research from Berkeley, which describes COF-505 – the first 3D covalent framework to be made by weaving together helical organic threads. The work was published online in Science this month, and can be viewed here. In the study, copper(I)-bisphenanthroline tetrafluoroborate was used to template the woven COF into this incredible new structure, and could be removed afterwards, keeping the framework intact.
The authors believe that this discovery will bring about the invention of molecular cloths which “combine unusual resiliency, strength, flexibility and chemical variability in one material”. It’s early days at the moment, but this looks like fascinating new research which could lead to great things.