Covalent organic frameworks (COFs), crystalline porous polymers, are very popular with scientists for catalysis and molecular separation. However, for this they must meet three criteria: They have to be crystalline, hydrolytically stable and functional. Now, e-conversion member Bettina Lotsch and her team have developed a synthesis process to produce stable amine-linked crystalline COFs that can be readily functionalized. Formic acid has a special role to play by being the central catalyst in various reactions.

Read a detailed review article by Claire Ashworth in Nature Reviews Chemistry (15 March 2021):

Amine-Linked Covalent Organic Frameworks as a Platform for Postsynthetic Structure Interconversion and Pore-Wall Modification. Lars Grunenberg, Gökcen Savasci, Maxwell W. Terban, Viola Duppel, Igor Moudrakovski, Martin Etter, Robert E. Dinnebier, Christian Ochsenfeld, and Bettina V. Lotsch. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2021 143 (9), 3430-3438. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.0c12249

Cover picture:
Formic acid helps to synthesize a stable and active COF catalyst. Graphic by Vera Hiendl, e-conversion. Selected as JACS journal cover.