Helically structured metal–organic frameworks fabricated by using supramolecular assemblies as templates†
The controlled formation of MOF-based superstructures with well-defined nanoscale sizes and exquisite morphologies represents a big challenge, but can trigger a new set of properties distinct from their bulk counterparts. Here we report on the use of a self-assembled organic object to template the first example of a nanoscale metal–organic framework (MOF) with a helical morphology. Two prototypical MOFs (HKUST-1 and MIL-100) were used to exemplify the growth of such materials on supramolecular assemblies. Interestingly, it was found that, dependent on the nature of the precursors, not only could well-defined helical MOF nanotubes be facilely fabricated, but novel helical bundle nanostructures could also be formed. These resultant MOF superstructures show additional optical properties and could be used as precursors for the preparation of chiral nanocarbons.