In DepthMaterials Science

Crystalline nets snare water and make fuel from thin air

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  06 Sep 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6457, pp. 964-965
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6457.964

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

Over the past 2 decades, chemists have created thousands of spongelike crystalline materials known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Each is made up of metal atoms that act like hubs in a Tinkertoy set, connected into a porous network by organic linkers designed to hold fast to the hubs and create openings to house molecular guests. By mixing and matching the metals and linkers, researchers found they could tailor the pores to capture gas molecules, such as water vapor and carbon dioxide. Because many of the early MOFs were expensive to make and degraded quickly, they did not live up to initial excitement. But in recent years, MOF-makers have figured out a broad set of design rules to make MOFs more robust. That has led to a bevy of new applications, such as harvesting water from desert air and turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel.

View Full Text