Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) are coordination polymers consisting of metal ions or clusters coordinated to organic linker molecules forming ordered structures. Additionally, their structures have to contain potential voids in the structure.
The problem up to now was that the size of the pores of the metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) could have been varied only by the size of the spacer between the coordinating groups and selection of the metal ions or clusters.
This problem has been addressed by the Czech research institute focused on the research and development in the field of analytical methods, which offers metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) based on linkers containing phosphinic acid groups (in abbreviation R1R2POOH). The inorganic part of the structure is composed of tri-valent metal cations, mainly Fe(III), Al(III), or Y(III), that are connected via organic linkers containing at least two phosphinic acid groups (-PR1OOH) bound on a alkyl or aryl skeleton, e.g., 1.4-di substituted benzene, see the pictures below. The resulting structure is porous.
The use of linker molecules bearing phosphinic acid groups solves the problem of fine tuning the pore size. Because pore size can be determined not only by the size of the linker molecule and metal ions or clusters, but also by the R1 groups bonded to P atom that can face inside the pore structure and therefore it can serve for partial pore blocking or can bear functional group in order to enhance the functional properties.
Because of the strong coordination bond between the linker and the metal centres the resulting metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) structures display high hydrothermal stability which can be beneficial in applications where high humidity and temperature are applied or fluctuate.
Therefore, the metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) offered have application potential for gas storage and separation (e.g. hydrogen and /or methane), membrane fillers, catalysis, lithium batteries, proton conductors, sensors, and drug delivery systems. Another application is biological imaging and sensing, bio-mimetic mineralization, carbon capture, desalination/ion separation.
The researchers are looking for cooperation with an institution or a company with skills in development of new MOFs or finding application for MOFs.
In the case of research cooperation agreement - cooperation based on a joint European project (e.g. Horizon 2020) is preferred. Partners sought are mainly from industry and are expected to further utilise the project results.
In the case of technical cooperation agreement - the aim of the cooperation is to get a survey of the possibilities of the new technology and to get summary know-how which could be subsequently a subject of commercialisation. The cooperation should involve an experimental testing of the individual MOF systems. Partners sought from industry or academia with focus on commercialisation.