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Topochemical conversion of an imine- into a thiazole-linked covalent organic framework enabling real structure analysis

: Haase, Frederik; Troschke, Erik; Savasci, Gökcen; Banerjee, Tanmay; Duppel, Viola; Dörfler, Susanne; Grundei, Martin M.J.; Burow, Asbjörn M.; Ochsenfeld, Christian; Kaskel, Stefan; Lotsch, Bettina V.


Nature Communications 9 (2018), Art. 2600, 10 S.
ISSN: 2041-1723
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
639233; COFLeaf
Fraunhofer IWS ()

Stabilization of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) by post-synthetic locking strategies is a powerful tool to push the limits of COF utilization, which are imposed by the reversible COF linkage. Here we introduce a sulfur-assisted chemical conversion of a two-dimensional imine-linked COF into a thiazole-linked COF, with full retention of crystallinity and porosity. This post-synthetic modification entails significantly enhanced chemical and electron beam stability, enabling investigation of the real framework structure at a high level of detail. An in-depth study by electron diffraction and transmission electron microscopy reveals a myriad of previously unknown or unverified structural features such as grain boundaries and edge dislocations, which are likely generic to the in-plane structure of 2D COFs. The visualization of such real structural features is key to understand, design and control structure–property relationships in COFs, which can have major implications for adsorption, catalytic, and transport properties of such crystalline porous polymers.