MOF – 177 has such an unassuming name. What is it though? A star? They have odd names like this don’t they?
Well no, MOF – 177 is a crystal with a huge (I mean huge) surface area – 4500 m2 per gram. To put this into context ….
…. it is the equivalent of 17 tennis courts – per gram.The crystal has a metal organic framework made up of zinc oxide cluster and 1,3,5 – benzentribenzoate. It is found as a simple white solid but its real point of interest is that the holes in the crystal are large enough (approx 1 nanometre) to allow substances such as buckyballs or hydrocarbons through. This means that it could be used to act as molecular sieve.
It is also speculated that it could be used as a hydrogen store for fuel cell hydorgen vehicles.