On the potential for nanoscale metal–organic frameworks for energy applications
The availability of diverse building blocks leading to highly tunable functionality has enabled metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) to have great success in myriad applications ranging from molecular recognition to catalysis. Moreover, combining the use of their porous nature with tailored reactivity at the metal struts and organic linkers provides valuable tools for energy-related applications. An exciting new research area that is expected to be highly beneficial for energy-related MOF use is the control of MOF morphology to develop nanosheets, nanorods and nanocrystals. Nanoscale MOFs offer larger external surface areas, easier access to functional groups, and close contact with other materials in hybrid structures that result in faster electron and ion transfer, in addition to ease of fabrication into thin films. This review provides an overview of the recent development of nanoscale MOFs as pristine materials or as a component in hybrid structures for solar energy conversion, supercapacitors, batteries and fuel cells.