Multivariate Metal-Organic Frameworks for Fine-Tuning Light at Targeted Temperatures and Hues

  • Compositions for light-emitting multivariate metal-organic frameworks (MTV MOFs)
  • Enables production of white light with high efficiency using sustainable materials
  • Provides for a homogeneous solid material that displays tunable broadband emission

The University of Central Florida invention comprises compositions and methods that use sustainable materials to produce white light with highly tunable temperature and high efficiency. Most of the light consumption in the United States (almost 280 billion kWh of energy yearly) is in the form of white light obtained from a variety of devices. This includes light-emitting diodes (LEDs), compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and incandescent bulbs. Each of these devices has a unique light-producing mechanism that provides advantages and disadvantages. For example, while LEDs are the most energy-efficient, they are known for providing monotone lighting. Also, obtaining white light from LEDs requires expensive and rare elements such as iridium, gallium, and lanthanides, whose production and use are not environmentally friendly. In another example, incandescent lighting devices deliver comfortable color and warmth but are far less energy efficient.

To overcome such challenges, UCF researchers developed multivariate metal-organic frameworks (MTV MOFs) that produce white light with emission temperatures that range from cool to warm. A framework can be systematically adjusted solely by the ratio of red, green, blue, and orange emitting linkers. Among their properties, the MOFs can facilitate storage, separation, transport, and chemical transformation of chemical guests by accommodating the guest molecules, such as gases, ions, water, and cognizable organic molecules, in well-defined pores.

Technical Details

The UCF invention consists of techniques for designing and synthesizing materials that, among other functions, emit light and allow for fine-tuning of the light emission profile. The invention employs MTV MOFs, a class of materials whose primary building units are a mix of organic linkers and varied functional groups with a mix of metal ions.

The MTV MOF may include at least one light-emitting linker in an amount sufficient for the composition to produce broadband emission spectra in high quantum yields. By varying the ratios of light-emitting linkers in an MTV MOF, the photophysical properties of the materials can be easily adjusted, resulting in behavior that can be customized for specific applications. For example, the linker type enables the assembly of porous crystalline MOF materials, several kinds of mixed-linker MOFs, including pillared-layer mixed-linker MOFs, cage-directed mixed-linker MOFs, cluster-based mixed-linker MOFs, and structure templated mixed-linker MOFs. In many embodiments, the temperature of the emitted white light is adjusted simply by adjusting the orange:blue linker ratio.

Partnering Opportunity

The research team is seeking partners for licensing/research collaboration.