Tunable Electrical Conductivity of Flexible Metal–Organic Frameworks

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


We present the computational design of naphthalene diimide (NDI)-containing metal pyrazolate MOFs (M(NDIDP), M = Zn, Co, Fe) judiciously bestowed with both framework flexibility and electrical conductivity. M(NDIDP) MOFs exhibit “wine rack” type flexibility, allowing them to partake in pressure-induced structural transitions at low pressures and room temperature. The MOFs are also equipped with closely packed redox-active NDI moieties, which results in dispersive conduction band minima for n-type charge transport and conductivity. Remarkably, structural transitions of the designed MOFs are found to facilitate the rearrangement of NDI moieties. As a result, conductivity of M(NDIDP) MOFs can be finely tuned, which is evidenced by the gradual shift from 1D to 2D charge transport and up to 7.5-fold reduction in carrier effective mass (2.76m0 to 0.37m0) when transitioning between different structural configurations. The unprecedented discovery of flexible MOFs with tunable electrical conductivity presented in this work firmly establishes MOFs as versatile candidate materials for multifunctional electronics.


metal–organic framework
electrical conductivity
stimuli-responsive behavior
density functional theory

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information
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