MOFs… aka… Metal Organic Frameworks
They look like a powder but are super-absorbent crystals that have the world’s largest internal surface area; 1 teaspoon of the crystals have the surface area of a football field.
Their metal organic architecture is made up of metal ions or metal ion clusters (nodes) scaffolded by organic linkers (also called ligands).
These molecular sponges are being nano-engineered for a variety of applications including:
Gas Capture – chemical weapons or industrial pollutants e.g. carbon capture
Water Harvesting – in desert environments the MOFs soak up water from the air which can be released with the warmth of the sun
Contaminant capture – water soluble MOFs which selectively capture contaminants e.g. heavy metals. microorganisms, or oils
The MOFs are programmable so that the contents of their guest filled apertures can be released, using heat or light, or by altering the pH.