New Chiral Metal-Organic Framework With Temperature-Dependent Homochirality Shows Potential For Chiral Discrimination

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Researchers at Changzhou University in China have developed a new chiral metal-organic framework (CMOF) with temperature-dependent homochirality that could have significant implications for chiral discrimination and separation. The findings were published in the journal Analytical Chemistry on April 8th, 2023.

CMOFs have attracted significant attention in the field of chiral analysis due to their ability to discriminate between enantiomers, which are mirror images of each other and have identical physical and chemical properties. However, the synthesis of CMOFs with controlled homochirality has proven challenging.

To address this issue, the team at Changzhou University synthesized a CMOF through a simple one-pot method using Zn(II), tetra(4-carboxyphenyl)-porphyrin (TCPP), and D-phenylalanine methyl ester (D-Phe-OMe) as metal ion, organic ligand, and chiral source, respectively. They found that the CMOFs synthesized at different temperatures displayed quite different morphologies and diametrically opposite chirality due to the different interaction modes between TCPP and D-Phe-OMe at 25 and 160 °C.

The team then utilized the CMOFs synthesized at 25 and 160 °C for the chiral discrimination of the isomers of tryptophan (Trp), resulting in exactly the reverse effect. The developed CMOF-based chiral sensors also exhibited excellent reproducibility, suggesting great potential for chiral analysis.


The researchers believe that their findings could have significant implications for the development of new chiral separation techniques and chiral sensors. The temperature-dependent homochirality of the CMOFs could allow for the selective separation of chiral compounds based on temperature, providing a new tool for chiral analysis.

The team plans to continue their research on CMOFs to explore their potential for chiral analysis and separation in other applications. The development of new chiral separation techniques could have significant implications for industries such as pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals, where chiral purity is essential for drug efficacy and crop protection.


Liu, N.; Li, J.; Cai, W.; Wu, D.; Kong, Y. Chiral Metal–Organic Framework with Temperature-Dependent Homochirality for Chiral Discrimination. Anal. Chem. 2023. DOI: