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Correlated defect nanoregions in a metal–organic framework

Cliffe, Matthew J.; Wan, Wei; Zou, Xiaodong; Chater, Philip A.; Kleppe, Annette K.; Tucker, Matthew G.; Wilhelm, Heribert; Funnell, Nicholas P.; Coudert, François-Xavier; Goodwin, Andrew L.


Matthew J. Cliffe

Wei Wan

Xiaodong Zou

Philip A. Chater

Annette K. Kleppe

Matthew G. Tucker

Heribert Wilhelm

Nicholas P. Funnell

François-Xavier Coudert

Andrew L. Goodwin


Throughout much of condensed matter science, correlated disorder is a key to material function. While structural and compositional defects are known to exist within a variety of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs), the prevailing understanding is that these defects are only ever included in a random manner. Here we show—using a combination of diffuse scattering, electron microscopy, anomalous X-ray scattering and pair distribution function measurements—that correlations between defects can in fact be introduced and controlled within a hafnium terephthalate MOF. The nanoscale defect structures that emerge are an analogue of correlated Schottky vacancies in rocksalt-structured transition metal monoxides and have implications for storage, transport, optical and mechanical responses. Our results suggest how the diffraction behaviour of some MOFs might be reinterpreted, and establish a strategy of exploiting correlated nanoscale disorder as a targetable and desirable motif in MOF design.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 20, 2014
Journal Nature Communications
Electronic ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Article Number 4176
APA6 Citation Cliffe, M. J., Wan, W., Zou, X., Chater, P. A., Kleppe, A. K., Tucker, M. G., …Goodwin, A. L. (2014). Correlated defect nanoregions in a metal–organic framework. Nature Communications, 5, doi:10.1038/ncomms5176
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