Metal organic frameworks are a leading class of porous materials for a wide variety of applications, such as gas storage, separations, catalysis, and even toxic gas removal. However, many MOFs that are highly active towards toxic chemicals are prone to decomposition due to moisture. Many efforts have focused on developing MOFs that are air-stable and water-stable so they can survive harsh field environments.
The US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center has developed and patented a process for post-treating MOFs with fluorocarbons using plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). Fluorinations of the organic linkers, in conjunction with a hydrophobic coating, prevent water clustering. In particular, fluorinated precursors develop reactive radicals in the plasma and form a variety of fluorine and carbon-fluorine functional groups that react with the surface, drastically changing the properties of the MOF substrate. The resulting material is also less hydrophilic and allows for its use in ambient applications where moisture is omnipresent.
- Broad Spectrum Protection: MOFs anchor the necessary functional groups in place to prevent interactions that reduce the effective removal of toxic chemicals.
- Harsh Environment Tolerant: Enhanced structural stability towards water vapor and liquid water.
- Enhanced Adsorption Capability: MOF plasma treatment slows the collapse of pore structure and helps maintain its crystallinity in the presence of ammonia or water.
- Patent US Patent 9,216,404 is available for license
- Additional information available at techlinkcenter.org/MOF