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A metamorphic inorganic framework that can be switched between eight single-crystalline states

AuthorsZhan, Caihong; Cameron, Jamie M.; Gabb, David; Boyd, Thomas; Winter, Ross S.; Vilà-Nadal, Laia; Mitchell, Scott G.; Glatzel, Stefan; Breternitz, Joachim; Gregory, Duncan H.; Long, De-Liang; Macdonell, Andrew; Cronin, Leroy
Issue Date2017
PublisherSpringer Nature
CitationNature Communications 8: 14185 (2017)
AbstractThe design of highly flexible framework materials requires organic linkers, whereas inorganic materials are more robust but inflexible. Here, by using linkable inorganic rings made up of tungsten oxide (P8W48O184) building blocks, we synthesized an inorganic single crystal material that can undergo at least eight different crystal-to-crystal transformations, with gigantic crystal volume contraction and expansion changes ranging from −2,170 to +1,720 Å3 with no reduction in crystallinity. Not only does this material undergo the largest single crystal-to-single crystal volume transformation thus far reported (to the best of our knowledge), the system also shows conformational flexibility while maintaining robustness over several cycles in the reversible uptake and release of guest molecules switching the crystal between different metamorphic states. This material combines the robustness of inorganic materials with the flexibility of organic frameworks, thereby challenging the notion that flexible materials with robustness are mutually exclusive.
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