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Construction of hierarchically porous metal-organic frameworks through linker labilization.


A major goal of metal-organic framework (MOF) research is the expansion of pore size and volume. Although many approaches have been attempted to increase the pore size of MOF materials, it is still a challenge to construct MOFs with precisely customized pore apertures for specific applications. Herein, we present a new method, namely linker labilization, to increase the MOF porosity and pore size, giving rise to hierarchical-pore architectures. Microporous MOFs with robust metal nodes and pro-labile linkers were initially synthesized. The mesopores were subsequently created as crystal defects through the splitting of a pro-labile-linker and the removal of the linker fragments by acid treatment. We demonstrate that linker labilization method can create controllable hierarchical porous structures in stable MOFs, which facilitates the diffusion and adsorption process of guest molecules to improve the performances of MOFs in adsorption and catalysis.