Using Sound to Synthesize Covalent Organic Frameworks in Water

15 June 2021, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Most covalent organic frameworks (COFs) are synthesized using solvothermal conditions (>120 °C, >72 h) in harmful organic solvents. We report a strategy for rapidly synthesizing imine-linked COFs (< 60 min) in aqueous acetic acid using sonochemistry, avoiding most of the downsides of solvothermal methods. We first synthesized seven known COFs using this method and obtained crystallinity and porosity comparable to or better than materials from previously reported solvothermal routes. This sonochemical method even works in highly sustainable solvents, such as food-grade vinegar. The generality of the method was demonstrated by preparing two unreported COFs. Finally, we showed that one sonochemical COF is an excellent photocatalyst for sacrificial hydrogen evolution from water with a more sustained catalytic performance than its solvothermal analog. The speed, ease and generality of this sonochemical method with no sacrifice in material quality makes it an enabling methodology for rapid discovery of new functional COF materials.


Covalent Organic Frameworks

Supplementary materials



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