SCOPES project 2014-2017

Metal-Hydride Organic Frameworks (HOF)-new solids for gas adsorption and separation.
Participants: VINCENT (Dr. Jovan Blanusa) and Laboratoire de cristallographie, Université de Genève (Dr. Radovan Cerny)  

The present SCOPES proposal has as a main objective the establishment of a novel class of compounds combining the molecular blocks of light-weight complex hydrides with organic linkers. Building principles of modern coordination chemistry will be actively used to explore the fundamental potential of designing new solids for hydrogen storage, gas adsorption and separation. Carefully organized sequence of synthesis, characterization, and reactivity measurements will allow achieve this goal. The proposed methodology to characterize structure, properties and reactivity of new materials is the synergy of techniques used in two disciplines: coordination chemistry and materials science as applied by hydrogen storage community. In this project, we will combine vast experience in studies of metal hydrides accumulated in Geneva with that in design and characterization of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) existing in Ljubljana and Zagreb and with experience in inorganic chemistry and crystallography in Sarajevo and Beograd. The main aim of the project is to initiate a new research which will introduce crystal engineering into the physics and chemistry of hydrides, in order to reveal materials with new functional properties.

The transition towards a sustainable and carbon-free energy system capable of meeting the increasing energy demand is considered one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century, as expressed e.g. by the climate initiative of the European Commission. Hydrogen is recognized as a possible future energy carrier, which conveniently can be produced from renewable energy and water. A major challenge for application of hydrogen as energy carrier is the development of a safe and efficient mean of hydrogen storage. Solid state storage, either by chemical bonding in crystalline compounds or by physical adsorption in porous materials, has the greatest potential to fulfil this challenge. There is not yet a single compound that meets all the requirements, but the diversity of the hydrogen chemistry gives hope for discovering new compounds with novel structures and properties.

The work presented in this proposal aims to merge expertise in hydrides with that in coordination frameworks: by combining molecular building blocks of complex hydrides with ligands developed for coordination frameworks, in order to produce novel hybrid materials, called here Metal-Hydride-Organic- Frameworks (HOF). They will be based on crystal engineering principles of coordination frameworks and have new properties (such as guest-host interactions, dehydrogenation properties) defined by the nature of the unique complex-hydride ligands. Their synthesis and characterization will combine methodologies developed in the two relatively distant disciplines.