MC Hammer and the glowing skeleton: talk about the chemistry of the Twitter account of rapper

Chemists say that the metal-organic framework structures — the border between organic and inorganic chemistry. On the one hand, they are somewhat similar to the polymeric materials, because they consist of many repetitive elements. On the other — in their composition are the atoms or metal ions. But the most interesting thing in them is a complex spatial structure, it gives them useful properties.

Metal-organic frameworks (in English they are called metal-organic frameworks, MOF) chemists are collected from two main components. This first metal ions or group of molecules consisting of metal atoms (clusters), which are held together by covalent bonds. The second component of organic molecules or ligands. It turns out fishnet mesh of a complex configuration, where the grid nodes ions or clusters and connect them to the organic ligands or the linkers. In these constructions, in which, as one would say the artists, “lots of air”, and chemists have to say about porous structures with pore size of several nanometers. The dimensions and configuration of the pores can greatly vary depending on which ions and ligands you have, and what method of synthesis was chosen.

Like other porous structure, the MOF has very large surface areas, so the main area of application of the frames — all kinds of filters and catalysts. In particular, they are used for adsorption of toxic gases and even pyrotechnics.

But this power frames do not end there. If you embed them in three-dimensional lattices of organic molecules, chromophores, it is possible to obtain, for example, detectors of gamma or x-ray radiation. Luminescent metal-organic frameworks will emit visible light in response to irradiation with ultraviolet light or ionizing radiation (scintillation) more efficiently than in free form. Built-in rigid structure to the molecule less likely to get rid of excess energy by changing its conformation, so it will only emit a quantum of light.

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