Bioinspired sponges: Metal-organic frameworks for combating nerve agents & toxic gases

The Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lecture

Presented by Omar Farha

Abstract

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are an extraordinary class of solid-state materials. They are built up from metal-based nodes and organic linkers. They exhibit permanent porosity and unprecedented surface areas which can be readily tuned through coordination chemistry at the inorganic node and organic chemistry at the linkers. The high porosities and surface areas are highly attractive in the context of chemical threat filtration and decomposition and catalysis. As exemplified by many catalysts in nature, including enzymes, site-isolation is a powerful strategy for enhancing catalytic efficiency and boosting catalyst lifetimes. MOFs provide an exciting platform for deploying different catalysts as building blocks. Importantly, the catalytically active moieties in these materials can be made in a site-isolated fashion and the cavities surrounding them can be engineered to conceptually mimic enzymes. This talk will address the catalytic activity of such MOFs in the catalytic degradation/detoxifocation of the nerve agent simulants, agents (GD and VX), and gases (mustard simulant).