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Ascherl, Laura; Sick, Torben; Margraf, Johannes T.; Lapidus, Saul H.; Calik, Mona; Hettstedt, Christina; Karaghiosoff, Konstantin; Döblinger, Markus; Clark, Timothy; Chapman, Karena W.; Auras, Florian; Bein, Thomas (2016): Molecular docking sites designed for the generation of highly crystalline covalent organic frameworks. In: Nature Chemistry, Vol. 8, No. 4: pp. 310-316
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Covalent organic frameworks (COFs) formed by connecting multidentate organic building blocks through covalent bonds provide a platform for designing multifunctional porous materials with atomic precision. As they are promising materials for applications in optoelectronics, they would benefit from a maximum degree of long-range order within the framework, which has remained a major challenge. We have developed a synthetic concept to allow consecutive COF sheets to lock in position during crystal growth, and thus minimize the occurrence of stacking faults and dislocations. Hereby, the three-dimensional conformation of propeller-shaped molecular building units was used to generate well-defined periodic docking sites, which guided the attachment of successive building blocks that, in turn, promoted long-range order during COF formation. This approach enables us to achieve a very high crystallinity for a series of COFs that comprise tri- and tetradentate central building blocks. We expect this strategy to be transferable to a broad range of customized COFs.