Engineering chiral porous metal-organic frameworks for enantioselective adsorption and separation

Nat Commun. 2014 Jul 17:5:4406. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5406.


The separation of racemic molecules is of substantial significance not only for basic science but also for technical applications, such as fine chemicals and drug development. Here we report two isostructural chiral metal-organic frameworks decorated with chiral dihydroxy or -methoxy auxiliares from enantiopure tetracarboxylate-bridging ligands of 1,1'-biphenol and a manganese carboxylate chain. The framework bearing dihydroxy groups functions as a solid-state host capable of adsorbing and separating mixtures of a range of chiral aromatic and aliphatic amines, with high enantioselectivity. The host material can be readily recycled and reused without any apparent loss of performance. The utility of the present adsorption separation is demonstrated in the large-scale resolution of racemic 1-phenylethylamine. Control experiments and molecular simulations suggest that the chiral recognition and separation are attributed to the different orientations and specific binding energies of the enantiomers in the microenvironment of the framework.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Associated data

  • PubChem-Substance/184696716
  • PubChem-Substance/184696717