A metamorphic inorganic framework that can be switched between eight single-crystalline states

Caihong Zhan, Jamie M. Cameron, David Gabb, Thomas Boyd, Ross S. Winter, Laia Vilà-Nadal, Scott G. Mitchell, Stefan Glatzel, Joachim Breternitz, Duncan H. Gregory, De Liang Long, Andrew MacDonell, Leroy Cronin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The design of highly flexible framework materials requires organic linkers, whereas inorganic materials are more robust but inflexible. Here, by using linkable inorganic rings made up of tungsten oxide (P 8 W 48 O 184) building blocks, we synthesized an inorganic single crystal material that can undergo at least eight different crystal-to-crystal transformations, with gigantic crystal volume contraction and expansion changes ranging from â '2,170 to +1,720 Å 3 with no reduction in crystallinity. Not only does this material undergo the largest single crystal-to-single crystal volume transformation thus far reported (to the best of our knowledge), the system also shows conformational flexibility while maintaining robustness over several cycles in the reversible uptake and release of guest molecules switching the crystal between different metamorphic states. This material combines the robustness of inorganic materials with the flexibility of organic frameworks, thereby challenging the notion that flexible materials with robustness are mutually exclusive.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14185
JournalNature communications
Publication statusPublished - Feb 13 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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