POSTECH Developed Metal-Organic Frameworks Based Integrated Nanocatalyst Platform

Published : Monday, February 10, 2020, 1:24 pm
ACROFAN=Seunghee Shin | | SNS
 The spread of new coronavirus infections is terrifying the world. While the rapid distribution of drugs, including antiviral drugs, is required, it is also difficult to mass-produce them in a short time due to the complicated production process. Here, POSTECH(Pohang University of Science and Technology)'s research team succeeded in developing an integrated nanocatalyst platform that can significantly simplify the manufacturing process of precision chemical products such as medicines.

POSTECH's research team led by Prof. In Su Lee at the Department of Chemistry and Dr. Soumen Dutta succeeded in effectively integrating three different catalyst functions into a single MOF nanoreactor. Besides, the synergy effect among the catalytic materials placed close to the nano-level distance to realize a single-process multistage continuous chemical reaction to produce a product with excellent yield and high optical activity.

A Diagram of Metal-Organic Frameworks Based Multimodal Catalytic Nanoreactors (Image by: POSTECH)

The manufacture of chemicals and pharmaceuticals is carried out in a multistage process with a continuous synthesis-separation step, which requires a lot of time and money. In particular, the catalyst materials used in each synthesis step often interfere with each other's activity and selectivity, so it is a very difficult but essential task to develop a multi-catalyst material that maintains the reactivity and stability of the catalysts and to unify the process.

The research team first synthesized a mesoporous MOF with nano-sized (20-40nm) pores through self-assembly of metal ions and organics and then introduced metal nanoparticle catalysts and enzyme catalysts into the nanopores to manufacture multimodal catalytic nanoreactors (MCNRs). The team confirmed that metal ions, nanoparticles, and enzymes separated and captured in the nanopores located near the MCNR can effectively perform a multi-step continuous chemical reaction without compromising the catalytic function of each other.

The findings were published in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., a leading journal in chemistry and applied chemistry, as breaking news. This project was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)'s Leader Researcher Support Project (Creative Research).

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