Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) are particularly exciting materials that couple porosity, diversity and crystallinity. But although they have been investigated for a wide range of applications, MOF chemistry focuses almost exclusively on properties intrinsic to the empty frameworks; the use of guest molecules to control functions has been essentially unexamined. Here we report Na3(2,4,6-trihydroxy-1,3,5-benzenetrisulfonate) (named β-PCMOF2), a MOF that conducts protons in regular one-dimensional pores lined with sulfonate groups. Proton conduction in β-PCMOF2 was modulated by the controlled loading of 1H-1,2,4-triazole (Tz) guests within the pores and reached 5 × 10−4 S cm−1 at 150 °C in anhydrous H2, as confirmed by electrical measurements in H2 and D2, and by solid-state NMR spectroscopy. To confirm its potential as a gas separator membrane, the partially loaded MOF (β-PCMOF2(Tz)0.45) was also incorporated into a H2/air membrane electrode assembly. The resulting membrane proved to be gas tight, and gave an open circuit voltage of 1.18 V at 100 °C.
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The authors thank the Western Canada Fuel Cell Initiative, Alberta Energy Research Institute, University Technologies International, Southern Alberta Intellectual Property Alliance, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation for funding.
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Hurd, J., Vaidhyanathan, R., Thangadurai, V. et al. Anhydrous proton conduction at 150 °C in a crystalline metal–organic framework. Nature Chem 1, 705–710 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/nchem.402
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