The minimalist approach to control and functionalize space developed by the German architect
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
(1886–1969) belongs to the foundations of modern architecture. In his “skin and bones” approach, space was structured using industrial steel frameworks and plate glass. His slogan “less is more” could also be the motto for an exciting class of compounds: As in the famous buildings designed by Mies van der Rohe, in Metal–Organic Frameworks (MOFs), very open structures are created by using recently developed design principles. Donor–acceptor metal–ligand bonds are used to define a characteristically structured coordination space. Whereas in traditional coordination chemistry the structure and reactivity situation at a given metal center are usually emphasized, in this new context the emphasis is on the engineering of the size, shape, and the arrangement of the functional space left between and confined by the ligands.

Our current MOF research activities include:

Metals@MOFs: creating catalytic multifunctionality
Flexible MOFs: modulating responsiveness and switching behavior
Defect Engineered MOFs: understanding heterogeneity within order
SURMOFs: liquid-phase oriented growth of MOFs at surfaces
Optical MOFs: non-linear optical and upconverting MOFs
Guest@MOFs: inducing electrical conductivity
Composites by MOFs: photo/electrocatalysts, nanocarbon/MOF hybrids