Single crystal of a one-dimensional metallo-covalent organic framework

Nat Commun. 2020 Mar 18;11(1):1434. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15281-1.


Although polymers have been studied for well over a century, there are few examples of covalently linked polymer crystals synthesised directly from solution. One-dimensional (1D) covalent polymers that are packed into a framework structure can be viewed as a 1D covalent organic framework (COF), but making a single crystal of this has been elusive. Herein, by combining labile metal coordination and dynamic covalent chemistry, we discover a strategy to synthesise single-crystal metallo-COFs under solvothermal conditions. The single-crystal structure is rigorously solved using single-crystal electron diffraction technique. The non-centrosymmetric metallo-COF allows second harmonic generation. Due to the presence of syntactic pendant amine groups along the polymer chains, the metallopolymer crystal can be further cross-linked into a crystalline woven network.