Hydrophobic Metal–Organic Frameworks

Kolleboyina Jayaramulu, Florian Geyer, Andreas Schneemann, Štěpán Kment, Michal Otyepka, Radek Zboril, Doris Vollmer, Roland A. Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

181 Scopus citations


Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) have diverse potential applications in catalysis, gas storage, separation, and drug delivery because of their nanoscale periodicity, permanent porosity, channel functionalization, and structural diversity. Despite these promising properties, the inherent structural features of even some of the best-performing MOFs make them moisture-sensitive and unstable in aqueous media, limiting their practical usefulness. This problem could be overcome by developing stable hydrophobic MOFs whose chemical composition is tuned to ensure that their metal–ligand bonds persist even in the presence of moisture and water. However, the design and fabrication of such hydrophobic MOFs pose a significant challenge. Reported syntheses of hydrophobic MOFs are critically summarized, highlighting issues relating to their design, characterization, and practical use. First, wetting of hydrophobic materials is introduced and the four main strategies for synthesizing hydrophobic MOFs are discussed. Afterward, critical challenges in quantifying the wettability of these hydrophobic porous surfaces and solutions to these challenges are discussed. Finally, the reported uses of hydrophobic MOFs in practical applications such as hydrocarbon storage/separation and their use in separating oil spills from water are summarized. Finally, the state of the art is summarized and promising future developments of hydrophobic MOFs are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1900820
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number32
StatePublished - 2019


  • contact angles
  • hydrocarbon separation
  • hydrophobicity
  • metal–organic frameworks (MOFs)
  • oil–water separation


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