Conductive-Organometallic Framework

Tech ID: 30485 / UC Case 2008-765-0


UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemistry have developed organic metallic framework (MOF) materials with high porosity and conductivity capabilities.


Advances in gas storage and separation are needed to facilitate wider adoption of clean energy and for the control of toxic gases. For example, natural gas (methane) has gained some market share as an alternative to petroleum-based fuels for transportation vehicles, but its application is limited by low energy storage density capabilities. The methane has to be stored as compressed natural gas (CNG). but the high pressures involved, require heavy, bulky storage tanks made from thick metal. Recently, adsorbed natural gas (ANG) has been considered for overcoming storage density challenges. With ANG, storage tanks are filled with porous materials that store methane at modest pressures and high densities. The lower pressures would make tanks lighter, smaller and better suited for use in passenger cars.


UCLA researchers have developed a new class of porous framework materials based on metal-carbon bonds. These organic metallic frameworks (MOFs) exhibit large surface areas that reach up to 10,000 m2/g, which is 10x higher than other porous materials such as carbon, zeolites and mesoporous silica. Gases such as hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide, which typically occupy large volumes, can be compacted closer together through interactions with the adsorptive sites within the porous MOFs. In turn, a MOF gas tank in a natural gas-powered bus can store more methane and allow the vehicle to travel further between each fuel stop. This high gas storage density capability avoids high pressure. The MOFs also demonstrate good electrical conductivity and can therefore be used in gas sensors. In addition, they offer promise as catalysts because of their high surface area and the ease with which products can be recovered from them. Thus, MOFs have a wide range of applications, including gas storage, purification and separation, CO2 capture, catalysis and sensors.


  • Low-pressure, high-density storage for hydrogen, methane, and other gases
  • Purification and separation
  • Catalysis
  • Gas sensors with high specificity
  • CO2 capture


  • Up to 10x higher surface area
  • Conductivity capabilities

Related Materials

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 8,674,128 03/18/2014 2008-765


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  • Yaghi, Omar M.

Other Information


Organic metallic frameworks (MOFs), metal-carbon bonds, natural gas, gas storage density, porous materials, natural gas storage

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