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Adding hydroquinone, a skin-bleaching ingredient, to a well-known 'metal organic framework' changes its copper ions in a way that makes this porous material exceptionally stable in water.

"We developed a new method to enhance the water stability of metal organic frameworks, with the potential for applications that can effectively filter and purify air from ultrafine dust without decomposing due to humidity," says DGIST materials scientist Nak Cheon Jeong. The Korean researchers reported their findings in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Metal - Frameworks - MOFs - Ions - Links

Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) are made from metal ions bonded by organic links. They assemble in a way that leads to the formation of internal cage-like structures, giving the material its porous nature. MOFs have an impressive surface area compared to other porous materials. It is this, and the ability of scientists to tune their structures, that has led to their use in a wide range of applications, including gas uptake, molecule separation, drug delivery, and catalysis. Most MOFs decompose in the presence of humidity and water, so scientists have been looking for ways to make them more durable.

Jeong and his colleagues found that treating a well-known copper-based MOF, called HKUST-1, with hydroquinone at 80°C made the material so stable that it didn't degrade after weeks of...
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