Scientists from the
MOFs are three-dimensional crystalline materials with nanoscale pores made up of metal ions linked by various organic molecules. They have huge surface areas, and by tinkering with the chemistries, scientists can easily control the size of the pores and how the pores interact with molecules. These characteristics make them ideal for use as catalysts, membranes or sponges for gas storage or for drug delivery, among other applications. Thousands of new MOF structures are discovered and characterized each year, but none conduct electricity well. The NIST/Sandia team developed a method to modify the electrical conductivity of MOF thin films and to control it over six orders of magnitude.
The group infused and bound electron-sharing molecules into MOF thin films to create a material that is stable in air and approximately a million times more conductive than the unaltered MOF. The arrangement of the guest molecules in the MOF creates a unique conductivity mechanism while preserving the benefits of the porous MOF crystalline structure.
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