Homochiral metal–organic framework (MOF) membranes have been recently reported for chiral separations. However, only a few high-quality homochiral polycrystalline MOF membranes have been fabricated due to the difficulty in crystallization of a chiral MOF layer without defects on porous substrates. Alternatively, mixed matrix membranes (MMMs), which combine potential advantages of MOFs and polymers, have been widely demonstrated for gas separation and water purification. Here we report novel homochiral MOF–polymer MMMs for efficient chiral separation. Homochirality was successfully incorporated into achiral MIL-53-NH2 nanocrystals by post-synthetic modification with amino acids, such as l-histidine (l-His) and l-glutamic acid (l-Glu). The MIL-53-NH-l-His and MIL-53-NH-l-Glu nanocrystals were then embedded into polyethersulfone (PES) matrix to form homochiral MMMs, which exhibited excellent enantioselectivity for racemic 1-phenylethanol with the highest enantiomeric excess value up to 100 %. This work, as an example, demonstrates the feasibility of fabricating diverse large-scale homochiral MOF-based MMMs for chiral separation.
- chiral resolution
- homochiral membrane separation
- metal–organic frameworks
- mixed-matrix membrane