Hydrogen-Bonded Organic Frameworks (HOFs)

HOFs offer promise for applications in biologic chemistry. They play as molecular recognitions, an important process in biological and chemical systems which governs the diverse functions of a variety of enzymes and the unique properties of some synthetic receptors. Since molecular recognition is based on weak interactions between receptors and substrates, most research on synthetic receptors for molecular recognition, particularly on non-covalent complexes self-assembled by hydrogen bonding, have only covered their fundamentals principles. Thus, the design and assembly of synthetic receptors to mimic biological systems and the development of novel materials to distinguish different substrates for selective recognitions of specific molecules is our target.

HOF-1 and HOF-2 were proposed as potential applications for Chiral and C2 Hydrocarbon separation and Acetylene purification.


The first microporous hydrogen-bonded organic framework with permanent porosity and exhibiting extraordinarily highly selective adsorptive separation of C2H2 and C2H4 at ambient temperature has been established.

Y. He, S. Xiang, B. Chen, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2011, 133, 14570.


A homochiral microporous hydrogen-bonded organic framework (HOF-2) based on a BINOL derivative has been synthesized and structurally characterized to be a uninodal 6-connected {3355667} network. This new HOF exhibits not only a permanent porosity with the BET of 237.6 m2 g–1 but also, more importantly, a highly enantioselective separation of chiral secondary alcohols with ee value up to 92% for 1-phenylethanol.

P Li, Y He, J Guang, L Weng, JCG Zhao, S Xiang, B Chen, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Jan 2014, 136, 547.