Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Mohamed Eddaoudi, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael J. Zaworotko, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Brian Space, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Juergen Eckert, Ph.D.


metal-organic frameworks, gas storage, isosteric heats of adsorption, supermolecular building blocks


Metal-Organic Materials (MOMs) represent an important class of solid-state crystalline materials. Their countless attractive attributes make them uniquely suited to potentially resolve many present and future utilitarian societal challenges ranging from energy and the environment, all the way to include biology and medicine. Since the birth of coordination chemistry, the self-assembly of organic molecules with metal ions has produced a plethora of simple and complex architectures, many of which possess diverse pore and channel systems in a periodic array. In its infancy however this field was primarily fueled by burgeoning serendipitous discoveries, with no regard to a rational design approach to synthesis.

In the late 1980s, the field was transformed when the potential for design was introduced through the seminal studies conducted by Hoskins and Robson who transcended the pivotal works of Wells into the experimental regime. The construction of MOMs using metal-ligand directed assembly is often regarded as the origin of the molecular building block (MBB) approach, a rational design strategy that focuses on the self-assembly of pre-designed MBBs having desired shapes and geometries to generate structures with intended topologies by exploiting the diverse coordination modes and geometries afforded by metal ions and organic molecules.

The evolution of the MBB approach has witnessed tremendous breakthroughs in terms of scale and porosity by simply replacing single metal ions with more rigid inorganic metal clusters whilst preserving the inherent modularity and essential geometrical attributes needed to construct target networks for desired applications. The work presented in this dissertation focuses upon the rational design and synthesis of a diverse collection of open frameworks constructed from pre-fabricated rigid inorganic MBBs (i.e. [M(CO2)4], [M2(RCO2)4], [M3O(RCO2)6], MN3O3, etc), supermolecular building blocks (SBBs) and 3-, 4- and 6-connected organic MBBs. A systematic evaluation concerning the effect of various structural parameters (i.e. pore size and shape, metal ion, charge, etc) on hydrogen uptake and the relative binding affinity of H2-MOF interactions for selected systems is provided.