J Am Chem Soc 2016 Mar 2;138(10):3484-92. Epub 2016 Mar 2.
ISIS Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Campus , Didcot, Oxon OX11 0QX, United Kingdom.
Crystalline solids dominate the field of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), with access to the liquid and glass states of matter usually prohibited by relatively low temperatures of thermal decomposition. In this work, we give due consideration to framework chemistry and topology to expand the phenomenon of the melting of 3D MOFs, linking crystal chemistry to framework melting temperature and kinetic fragility of the glass-forming liquids. Here we show that melting temperatures can be lowered by altering the chemistry of the crystalline MOF state, which provides a route to facilitate the melting of other MOFs. The glasses formed upon vitrification are chemically and structurally distinct from the three other existing categories of melt-quenched glasses (inorganic nonmetallic, organic, and metallic), and retain the basic metal-ligand connectivity of crystalline MOFs, which connects their mechanical properties to their starting chemical composition. The transfer of functionality from crystal to glass points toward new routes to tunable, functional hybrid glasses.