Crystals as molecules: postsynthesis covalent functionalization of zeolitic imidazolate frameworks

J Am Chem Soc. 2008 Sep 24;130(38):12626-7. doi: 10.1021/ja805222x. Epub 2008 Aug 28.


A new crystalline zeolitic imidazolate framework, ZIF-90, was prepared from zinc(II) nitrate and imidazolate-2-carboxyaldehyde (ICA) and found to have the sodalite-type topology. Its 3D porous framework has an aperture of 3.5 A and a pore size of 11.2 A. The pores are decorated by the aldehyde functionality of ICA which has allowed its transformation to the alcohol functionality by reduction with NaBH4 and its conversion to imine functionality by reaction with ethanolamine to give ZIF-91 and ZIF-92, respectively. The N2 adsorption isotherm of ZIF-90 shows a highly porous material with calculated Langmuir and BET surface areas of 1320 and 1270 m2 g(-1). Both functionalized ZIFs retained high crystallinity and in addition ZIF-91 maintained permanent porosity (surface areas: 1070 and 1010 m2 g(-1)).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aldehydes / chemistry
  • Crystallization
  • Imidazoles / chemical synthesis
  • Imidazoles / chemistry*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nitrates / chemistry
  • Thermogravimetry / methods
  • X-Ray Diffraction
  • Zeolites / chemistry*
  • Zinc Compounds / chemistry


  • Aldehydes
  • Imidazoles
  • Nitrates
  • Zinc Compounds
  • Zeolites
  • zinc nitrate