Metal–polydopamine frameworks and their transformation to hollow metal/N-doped carbon particles†
We present a new strategy for in situ transformation of metal–organic framework (MOF) crystals to hollow metal–organic structures through polycondensation of dopamine. The hollow metal–polydopamine (PDA) particles are formed by a coordination assembly of metal ions (Co and Zn) and PDA, inheriting the morphology of MOF (ZIF-67 and ZIF-8) crystals. The hollow porous metal/N-carbon particles morphosynthetically transformed from hollow metal–PDA particles exhibit excellent oxygen reduction electrocatalytic activity. The strategy presented here is promising for synthesizing hollow metal–organic polymer (metal–carbon) particles with diverse morphologies for energy and environmental applications.