In now Quote the conclusions of the original paper:
This report describes permanent, accessible and reversible porosity inherent to glasses derived from metal–organic frameworks. Two precursor crystalline ZIFs were designed, and their high temperature melting monitored in situ by a range of combined diffraction experiments. Notably, these glasses are distinct from those reported by Yaghi et al.,13 which are prepared via sol–gel methods, and in which Tg disappears after solvent evaporation. This means that sol–gel glasses cannot be formed by heating to high temperatures. The discovery of accessible porosity in glasses derived from MOFs may serve as the foundation for a new class of porous hybrid inorganic–organic materials. We expect that developments in this field will be enabled by (i) the large number of known MOF or coordination polymer structures that can serve as potential glass precursors32, (ii) the ability to combine the chemical diversity of MOFs with established techniques for handling and moulding glasses, (iii) the availability of several techniques for vitrifying crystalline frameworks12,33 and (iv) the use of post-synthetic techniques that are employed in other glass families to increase available surface areas34.
We envisage a plethora of potential applications will stem from porous MOF glasses, including membranes for chemical separations, catalysis, ion transport and conductivity35. These glasses should not however be placed into competition for the ultra-high surface areas heralded for crystalline MOFs, but seen in the light of ease of processing, mechanical stability and possible use in separations. Additional avenues for research may also arise from their comparison and contextualization with conventional glasses. In this light, MOF glasses may be geared towards applications in optics, where one of their principle advantages will lie in their softer nature and correspondingly lower processing temperatures. The combination of the stimuli responsivity of MOF chemistry36 with the glass domain will also lead to new, smart applications and a new era of glass technology37.
Sonhouse had another idea for an application which I perceived directly as a non-starter (and I have some colelagues working on MOF's) and which is explicitely excluded by the original paper.
Thanks for bringing the paper to my Attention. I wouldn't have read it without this 😉