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Synthesis of Homochiral Metal Organic Frameworks (HMOFs) Using Schiff-base Derivatives of Amino Acids: Use of HMOFs in Asymmetric Catalysis, Chiral Separation, and Gas Storage


The proposed research is aimed on syntheses of homochiral metal organic frameworks (HMOFs) and their functional uses in asymmetric catalysis, chiral separation, and gas storage. The Schiff-base linkers will be used together with a range of metal ions (alkaline earth metals, transition metals and lanthanides) for the synthesis of HMOFs. The chirally pure amino acids will be coupled with different aldehydes in order to synthesize a variety of organic Schiff-base linkers. Three different amino acids (alanine, serine, and threonine) and four precursor aldehydes (terephthalaldehyde, pyridine-4-carboxaldehyde, 4-(4-pyridinyl)benzaldehyde, and 5-(4-formylphenyl)pyrimidine) are chosen for synthesis of 12 such different linkers. Different chirality of amino acids will broaden the choice of the ligands further. The ligands with chirally pure amino acids will add chiral pockets at the channels of the synthesized MOFs. Besides the presence of metal ions which act as Lewis-acid sites, the MOFs will be rich of Lewis-base sites due to the presence of the imino groups of the Schiff-base linkers. Based on this, the MOFs will be used as asymmetric heterogeneous catalyst for different Lewis-acid and Lewis-base catalyzed organic reactions. Besides this, the derived MOFs will be used as bifunctional catalysts. This is a new approach of using MOFs for both kinds of catalytic reactions, and will be studied for the first time. Individual Lewis-acid and Lewis-base catalyzed reactions, as well as concerted (both Lewis-acid and Lewis-base catalyzed) reactions will be studied. The derived MOFs will be also studied for chiral separation of small molecules and gas storage properties (Hydrogen and Methane). Due to the presence of the imino groups in the MOFs, they are expected to show good affinity towards binding hydrogen and methane by electrostatic interactions, and thus, to show high gas storage capacity.

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Brownlow Hill 765 Foundation Building
L69 7ZX Liverpool
United Kingdom

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Lynsey Keig (Mrs.)
EU contribution
€ 158 069,60