Molecularly soldered covalent organic frameworks for ultrafast precision sieving

Yanqiu Zhang, Jing Guo, Gang Han, Yongping Bai, Qingchun Ge, Jun Ma, Cher Hon Lau, Lu Shao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The weak interlamellar interaction of covalent organic framework (COF) nanocrystals inhibit the construction of highly efficient ion/molecular sieving membranes owing to the inferior contaminant selectivity induced by defects in stacked COF membranes and stability issues. Here, a facile in situ molecularly soldered strategy was developed to fabricate defect-free ultrathin COF membranes with precise sieving abilities using the typical chemical environment for COF condensation polymerization and dopamine self-polymerization. The experimental data and density functional theory simulations proved that the reactive oxygen species generated during dopamine polymerization catalyze the nucleophilic reactions of the COF, thus facilitating the counter-diffusion growth of thin COF layers. Notably, dopamine can eliminate the defects in the stacked COF by soldering the COF crystals, fortifying the mechanical properties of the ultrathin COF membranes. The COF membranes exhibited ultrafast precision sieving for molecular separation and ion removal in both aqueous and organic solvents, which surpasses that of state-of-the art membranes.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabe8706
JournalScience Advances
Issue number13
Early online date24 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Mar 2021


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