Umeå physicists, in partnership with the Technical University of Dresden and Chalmers University, are the first to show the high stability of the porous nanomaterial COF-1. The research is printed in Angewandte Chemie, Int. Ed.
Covalent organic frameworks (COFs) is an extensive fleet of polymeric materials designed only by light components. The absence of metal atoms in their structure makes COFs distinctly different in comparison with their relatives, Metal-Organic Framework materials (MOFs).
The first COF structure was found in 2005; it consists of benzene rings linked by B3O3 into hexagon-shaped 2-D sheets that are stacked right into a layered structure, resembling in this respect the construction of graphite composed by graphene layers. By analogy with graphene, the single layer of COF material might be named COFene because it represents a real 2-D material composed of carbon, hydrogen, boron, and oxygen.
Unlike graphite, COF-1 is porous material with a relatively high surface region, which makes it promising for various functions, e.g., for energy storage units, as sorbents for gas storage or membranes. There’s primary scientific interest in single COF-1 layers, which are real 2-D materials.
Nevertheless, little was known about the mechanical properties of COFs or single-layered COFenes apart from just a few theoretical estimations.
The group of researchers used synchrotron X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy to analyze what happens with the structure of these materials at pressures up to 30 GPa. It was concluded that the ambient pressure structure of COF-1 can is surprisingly steady and preserves even after compression up to 10-15 GPa.