Zeolitic imidazolate framework materials: recent progress in synthesis and applications
Zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) represent a new and special class of metal organic frameworks comprised of imidazolate linkers and metal ions, with structures similar to conventional aluminosilicate zeolites. Their intrinsic porous characteristics, abundant functionalities as well as exceptional thermal and chemical stabilities have led to a wide range of potential applications for various ZIF materials. Explosive research activities ranging from synthesis approaches to attractive applications of ZIFs have emerged in this rapidly developing field in the past 5 years. In this review, the development and recent progress towards different synthesis strategies to generate both powder and membrane/film-based ZIF materials are analysed and summarised. Their attractive and potential applications in gas separation, catalysis, sensing and electronic devices, and drug delivery in the past years are discussed and reviewed. In addition, the prospects and potential new development of ZIF materials are presented.