Molecular Designs of Site-Specific Activity

There are immense opportunities to make carbon-free or carbon-neutral energy carriers using low-cost electricity from renewable sources. Unfortunately, the efficiency of such processes is low, which is limited primarily by slow reaction rates such as the oxygen evolution reaction (OER), one universal step for making of energy carriers from water, carbon dioxide or nitrogen. Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) are a novel class of porous, crystalline inorganic/organic materials accessible by reticular chemistry, with promising activity and stability. The question arises whether MOFs present new perspectives for OER? The collaborating partners Prof. Bandarenka, Prof. Fischer, and Prof. Shao-Horn address the tunability of carboxylate linker-based MOFs under OER operando conditions, aiming to optimize their intrinsic OER performance. This Focus Group is aiming to leverage the potential of MOFs as precursors, taking advantage of the MOF metamorphosis into the active catalyst under OER. The major goals are characterizing the nature, distribution, and accessibility of the active sites and the evaluation of their tuneability by MOF design, including the MOF and the MOF-derived materials structural defect engineering.