Text Size

Scientists have long searched for the next generation of materials that can catalyze a revolution in renewable energy harvesting and storage.

One candidate appears to be metal-organic frameworks. Scientists have used these very small, flexible, ultra-thin, super-porous crystalline structures to do everything from capturing and converting carbon into fuels to storing hydrogen and other gases. Their biggest drawback has been their lack of conductivity.

Now, according to USC scientists, it turns out that metal-organic frameworks can conduct electricity in the same way metals do.

This opens the door for metal organic-frameworks to one day efficiently store renewable energy at a very large, almost unthinkable scale.

"For the first time ever, we have demonstrated a metal-organic framework that exhibits conductivity like that of a metal. The natural porosity of the metal-organic framework makes it ideal for reducing the mass of material, allowing for lighter, more compact devices" said Brent Melot, assistant professor of chemistry at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences.

"Metallic conductivity in tandem with other catalytic properties would add to its potential for renewable energy production and storage" said Smaranda Marinescu, assistant professor of chemistry at the USC Dornsife College.

Their findings were published July 13 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

To read more, click here.
Category: Science