Research ArticleChemistry

Metal-organic framework based on hinged cube tessellation as transformable mechanical metamaterial

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Science Advances  10 May 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 5, eaav4119
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav4119


Mechanical metamaterials exhibit unusual properties, such as negative Poisson’s ratio, which are difficult to achieve in conventional materials. Rational design of mechanical metamaterials at the microscale is becoming popular partly because of the advance in three-dimensional printing technologies. However, incorporating movable building blocks inside solids, thereby enabling us to manipulate mechanical movement at the molecular scale, has been a difficult task. Here, we report a metal-organic framework, self-assembled from a porphyrin linker and a new type of Zn-based secondary building unit, serving as a joint in a hinged cube tessellation. Detailed structural analysis and theoretical calculation show that this material is a mechanical metamaterial exhibiting auxetic behavior. This work demonstrates that the topology of the framework and flexible hinges inside the structure are intimately related to the mechanical properties of the material, providing a guideline for the rational design of mechanically responsive metal-organic frameworks.

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