Interfacial engineering of renewable metal organic framework derived honeycomb-like nanoporous aluminum hydroxide with tunable porosity†
Novel honeycomb-like mesoporous aluminum hydroxide (pATH) was synthesized via a facile one-step reaction by employing ZIF-8 as a template. This self-decomposing template was removed automatically under acidic conditions without the need for any tedious or hazardous procedures. Meanwhile, the pore size of pATH was easily modulated by tuning the dimensions of the ZIF-8 polyhedrons. Of paramount importance was the fact that the dissolved ZIF-8 in solution was regenerated upon deprotonation of the ligand under mild alkali conditions, and was reused in the preparation of pATH, thus forming a delicate synthesis cycle. The renewable template conferred cost-effective and sustainable features to the as-synthesized product. As a proof-of-concept application, the fascinating nanoporous structure enabled pATH to load more phosphorous-containing flame retardant and endowed better interaction with epoxy resin over that of commercial aluminum hydroxide. The limiting oxygen index, UL-94 vertical burning test and cone calorimeter test showed that the results of epoxy with the modified pATH rivalled those of epoxy with two times the loading amount of the commercial counterpart, while the former presented better mechanical properties. The proposed “amorphous replica method” used in this work will advance the potential for launching a vast area of research and technology development for the preparation of porous metal hydroxides for use in practical applications.