One prominent aspect of metal organic frameworks (MOFs) is the ability to tune the size, shape, and chemical characteristics of their pores. MOF-5, with its open cubic connectivity of Zn4O clusters joined by two-dimensional, terephthalate linkers, is the archetypal example: both functionalized and elongated linkers produce isoreticular frameworks that define pores with new shapes and chemical environments. The recent scalable synthesis of cubane-1,4-dicarboxylic acid (1,4-H2cdc) allows the first opportunity to explore its application in leading reticular architectures. Herein we describe the use of 1,4-H2cdc to construct [Zn4O(1,4-cdc)3], referred to as CUB-5. Isoreticular with MOF-5, CUB-5 adopts a cubic architecture but features aliphatic, rather than aromatic, pore surfaces. Methine units point directly into the pores, delivering new and unconventional adsorption locations. Our results show that CUB-5 is capable of selectively adsorbing high amounts of benzene at low partial pressures, promising for future investigations into the industrial separation of benzene from gasoline using aliphatic MOF materials. These results present an effective design strategy for the generation of new MOF materials with aliphatic pore environments and properties previously unattainable in conventional frameworks.
- building units