Staff directory Jorge Albalad Alcalá



  • Metal–Organic Polyhedra as Building Blocks for Porous Extended Networks

    Khobotov-Bakishev A., Hernández-López L., von Baeckmann C., Albalad J., Carné-Sánchez A., Maspoch D. Advanced Science; 2022. 10.1002/advs.202104753. IF: 16.806

    Metal–organic polyhedra (MOPs) are a subclass of coordination cages that can adsorb and host species in solution and are permanently porous in solid-state. These characteristics, together with the recent development of their orthogonal surface chemistry and the assembly of more stable cages, have awakened the latent potential of MOPs to be used as building blocks for the synthesis of extended porous networks. This review article focuses on exploring the key developments that make the extension of MOPs possible, highlighting the most remarkable examples of MOP-based soft materials and crystalline extended frameworks. Finally, the article ventures to offer future perspectives on the exploitation of MOPs in fields that still remain ripe toward the use of such unorthodox molecular porous platforms. © 2022 The Authors. Advanced Science published by Wiley-VCH GmbH

  • Surface chemistry of metal-organic polyhedra

    Albalad J., Hernández-López L., Carné-Sánchez A., Maspoch D. Chemical Communications; 58 (15): 2443 - 2454. 2022. 10.1039/d1cc07034g. IF: 6.222

    Metal-organic polyhedra (MOPs) are discrete, intrinsically-porous architectures that operate at the molecular regime and, owing to peripheral reactive sites, exhibit rich surface chemistry. Researchers have recently exploited this reactivity through post-synthetic modification (PSM) to generate specialised molecular platforms that may overcome certain limitations of extended porous materials. Indeed, the combination of modular solubility, orthogonal reactive sites, and accessible cavities yields a highly versatile molecular platform for solution to solid-state applications. In this feature article, we discuss representative examples of the PSM chemistry of MOPs, from proof-of-concept studies to practical applications, and highlight future directions for the MOP field. © The Royal Society of Chemistry.


  • Elucidating pore chemistry within metal-organic frameworksviasingle crystal X-ray diffraction; from fundamental understanding to application

    Albalad J., Sumby C.J., Maspoch D., Doonan C.J. CrystEngComm; 23 (11): 2185 - 2195. 2021. 10.1039/d1ce00067e. IF: 3.545

    Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have made inroads in diverse chemical sectors due to the essentially limitless combination of building units and the ability to post-synthetically modify their pore chemistry at the molecular level. The crystalline nature of MOFs permits the use of single crystal X-ray diffraction (SCXRD) to obtain crystallographic snapshots of these transformations, providing invaluable information into the unorthodox chemistry that MOFs can potentially offer. This highlight article aims to provide the reader with the most recent milestones in the use of SCXRD as a vanguard technique to connect molecular-level pore engineering of MOFs with new application fields hitherto unexplored. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2021.

  • Synthesis of Polycarboxylate Rhodium(II) Metal–Organic Polyhedra (MOPs) and their use as Building Blocks for Highly Connected Metal–Organic Frameworks (MOFs)

    Grancha T., Carné-Sánchez A., Zarekarizi F., Hernández-López L., Albalad J., Khobotov A., Guillerm V., Morsali A., Juanhuix J., Gándara F., Imaz I., Maspoch D. Angewandte Chemie - International Edition; 60 (11): 5729 - 5733. 2021. 10.1002/anie.202013839. IF: 15.336

    Use of preformed metal-organic polyhedra (MOPs) as supermolecular building blocks (SBBs) for the synthesis of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) remains underexplored due to lack of robust functionalized MOPs. Herein we report the use of polycarboxylate cuboctahedral RhII-MOPs for constructing highly-connected MOFs. Cuboctahedral MOPs were functionalized with carboxylic acid groups on their 12 vertices or 24 edges through coordinative or covalent post-synthetic routes, respectively. We then used each isolated polycarboxylate RhII-MOP as 12-c cuboctahedral or 24-c rhombicuboctahedral SBBs that, upon linkage with metallic secondary building units (SBUs), afford bimetallic highly-connected MOFs. The assembly of a pre-synthesized 12-c SBB with a 4-c paddle-wheel SBU, and a 24-c SBB with a 3-c triangular CuII SBU gave rise to bimetallic MOFs having ftw (4,12)-c or rht (3,24)-c topologies, respectively. © 2020 Wiley-VCH GmbH


  • Phase Transfer of Rhodium(II)-Based Metal-Organic Polyhedra Bearing Coordinatively Bound Cargo Enables Molecular Separation

    Grancha T., Carné-Sánchez A., Hernández-López L., Albalad J., Imaz I., Juanhuix J., Maspoch D. Journal of the American Chemical Society; 141 (45): 18349 - 18355. 2019. 10.1021/jacs.9b10403. IF: 14.695

    The transfer of nanoparticles between immiscible phases can be driven by externally triggered changes in their surface composition. Interestingly, phase transfers can enhance the processing of nanoparticles and enable their use as vehicles for transporting molecular cargo. Herein we report extension of such phase transfers to encompass porous metal-organic polyhedra (MOPs). We report that a hydroxyl-functionalized, cuboctahedral Rh(II)-based MOP can be transferred between immiscible phases by pH changes or by cation-exchange reactions. We demonstrate use of this MOP to transport coordinatively bound cargo between immiscible layers, including into solvents in which the cargo is insoluble. As proof-of-concept that our phase-transfer approach could be used in chemical separation, we employed Rh(II)-based MOPs to separate a challenging mixture of structurally similar cyclic aliphatic (tetrahydrothiophene) and aromatic (thiophene) compounds. We anticipate that transport of coordinatively bound molecules will open new avenues for molecular separation based on the relative coordination affinity that the molecules have for the Rh(II) sites of MOP. Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society.

  • Protection strategies for directionally-controlled synthesis of previously inaccessible metal-organic polyhedra (MOPs): The cases of carboxylate: The amino-functionalised Rh(ii)-MOPs

    Albalad J., Carné-Sánchez A., Grancha T., Hernández-López L., Maspoch D. Chemical Communications; 55 (85): 12785 - 12788. 2019. 10.1039/c9cc07083d. IF: 6.164

    Herein we report that strategic use of protecting groups in coordination reactions enables directional inhibition that leads to synthesis of highly functionalised metal-organic polyhedra (MOPs), rather than of the extended coordination networks. Using this approach, we functionalised two new porous cuboctahedral Rh(ii)-based MOPs with 24 peripheral carboxylic acid groups or 24 peripheral amino groups. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.


  • Postsynthetic Selective Ligand Cleavage by Solid-Gas Phase Ozonolysis Fuses Micropores into Mesopores in Metal-Organic Frameworks

    Guillerm V., Xu H., Albalad J., Imaz I., Maspoch D. Journal of the American Chemical Society; 140 (44): 15022 - 15030. 2018. 10.1021/jacs.8b09682. IF: 14.357

    Herein we report a novel, ozone-based method for postsynthetic generation of mesoporosity in metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). By carefully selecting mixed-ligand Zr-fcu-MOFs based on organic ligand pairs in which one ligand has ozone-cleavable olefin bonds and the other ligand is ozone-resistant, we were able to selectively break the cleavable ligand via ozonolysis to trigger fusion of micropores into mesopores within the MOF framework. This solid-gas phase method is performed at room-temperature, and, depending on the cleavable ligand used, the resultant ligand-fragments can be removed from the ozonated MOF by either washing or sublimation. Compared to the corresponding highly microporous starting MOFs, the highly mesoporous product MOFs exhibit radically distinct gas sorption properties. © 2018 American Chemical Society.

  • Single-Crystal-to-Single-Crystal Postsynthetic Modification of a Metal-Organic Framework via Ozonolysis

    Albalad J., Xu H., Gándara F., Haouas M., Martineau-Corcos C., Mas-Ballesté R., Barnett S.A., Juanhuix J., Imaz I., Maspoch D. Journal of the American Chemical Society; 140 (6): 2028 - 2031. 2018. 10.1021/jacs.7b12913. IF: 14.357

    We describe solid-gas phase, single-crystal-to-single-crystal, postsynthetic modifications of a metal-organic framework (MOF). Using ozone, we quantitatively transformed the olefin groups of a UiO-66-type MOF into 1,2,4-trioxolane rings, which we then selectively converted into either aldehydes or carboxylic acids. © 2018 American Chemical Society.


  • Hetero-bimetallic paddlewheel clusters in coordination polymers formed by a water-induced single-crystal-to-single-crystal transformation

    Albalad J., Aríñez-Soriano J., Vidal-Gancedo J., Lloveras V., Juanhuix J., Imaz I., Aliaga-Alcalde N., Maspoch D. Chemical Communications; 52 (91): 13397 - 13400. 2016. 10.1039/c6cc07653j. IF: 6.567

    Herein we report a water-induced single-crystal to single-crystal transformation that involves the formation of hetero-bimetallic paddlewheel clusters in coordination polymers. Through this transformation, which involves the cleavage and formation of different coordination bonds, two different Cu(ii)-Zn(ii) and Cu(ii)-Ni(ii) paddlewheel units exhibiting a 1:1 metal ratio were created. © 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  • pH-Responsive Relaxometric Behaviour of Coordination Polymer Nanoparticles Made of a Stable Macrocyclic Gadolinium Chelate

    Aríñez-Soriano J., Albalad J., Carné-Sánchez A., Bonnet C.S., Busqué F., Lorenzo J., Juanhuix J., Terban M.W., Imaz I., Tóth É., Maspoch D. Chemistry - A European Journal; 22 (37): 13162 - 13170. 2016. 10.1002/chem.201602356. IF: 5.771

    Lanthanide-containing nanoscale particles have been widely explored for various biomedical purposes, however, they are often prone to metal leaching. Here we have created a new coordination polymer (CP) by applying, for the first time, a stable GdIIIchelate as building block in order to prevent any fortuitous release of free lanthanide(III) ion. The use of the Gd-DOTA-4AmP complex as a design element in the CP allows not only for enhanced relaxometric properties (maximum r1=16.4 mm−1s−1at 10 MHz), but also for a pH responsiveness (Δr1=108 % between pH 4 and 6.5), beyond the values obtained for the low molecular weight Gd-DOTA-4AmP itself. The CP can be miniaturised to the nanoscale to form colloids that are stable in physiological saline solution and in cell culture media and does not show cytotoxicity. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

  • Single-crystal and humidity-controlled powder diffraction study of the breathing effect in a metal-organic framework upon water adsorption/desorption

    Aríñez-Soriano J., Albalad J., Vila-Parrondo C., Pérez-Carvajal J., Rodríguez-Hermida S., Cabeza A., Juanhuix J., Imaz I., Maspoch D. Chemical Communications; 52 (45): 7229 - 7232. 2016. 10.1039/c6cc02908f. IF: 6.567

    Herein we report a study on water adsorption/desorption-triggered single-crystal to single-crystal transformations in a MOF, by single-crystal and humidity-controlled powder X-ray diffraction and water-sorption measurements. We identified a gate-opening effect at a relative humidity of 85% upon water adsorption, and a gate-closure effect at a relative humidity of 55 to 77% upon water desorption. This reversible breathing effect between the "open" and the "closed" structures of the MOF involves the cleavage and formation of several coordination bonds. © 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  • Two-step synthesis of heterometallic coordination polymers using a polyazamacrocyclic linker

    Aríñez-Soriano J., Albalad J., Pérez-Carvajal J., Imaz I., Busqué F., Juanhuix J., Maspoch D. CrystEngComm; 18 (22): 4196 - 4204. 2016. 10.1039/c5ce02520f. IF: 3.849

    A new macrocyclic linker 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,7-bis(4-acetamidobenzoic)-4,10-diacetic acid (H4L1) was synthesized and characterized. This linker was used to create two heterometallic coordination polymers following a two-step synthesis. This synthesis consisted of first combining this polyazamacrocyclic linker with Ni(ii) or Mn(ii) ions to obtain the corresponding metallomacrocyclic complexes showing non-coordinated carboxylic groups. In a second step, these metallated macrocycles were used as building units to construct two heterometallic Ni(ii)-Zn(ii) and Mn(ii)-Zn(ii) coordination polymers when combined with Zn(ii) ions. In addition, a third Zn(ii)-Zn(ii) coordination polymer could also be synthesized by direct mixing of H4L1 with Zn(ii) ions. Interestingly, the Mn(ii)-Zn(ii) coordination polymer exhibits a reversible type-I "crystal-to-amorphous transformation" upon water sorption/desorption. © The Royal Society of Chemistry.