Stimuli responsive materials (SRMs) respond to environmental changes through chemical and/or structural transformations that can be triggered by interactions at solid-gas or solid-liquid interfaces, light, pressure or temperature. SRMs span compositions as diverse as organic polymers and porous inorganic solids such as zeolites. Metal–organic materials (MOMs), sustained by metal nodes and organic linker ligands are of special interest as SRMs. SR-MOMs have thus far tended to exhibit only one type of transformation, e.g. breathing, in response to one stimulus, e.g. pressure change. We report [Zn 2(4,4′-biphenyldicarboxylate) 2(4,4′-bis(4-pyridyl)biphenyl)] n, an SR-MOM, which exhibits six distinct phases and four types of structural transformation in response to various stimuli. The observed structural transformations, breathing, structural isomerism, shape memory effect, and change in the level of interpenetration, are previously known individually but have not yet been reported to exist collectively in the same compound. The multi-dynamic nature of this SR-MOM is mainly characterised by using in-situ techniques.
Stimuli-responsive porous materials are attractive for a range of applications, but each material typically exhibits only one type of transformation. Here, the authors report on a metal–organic material that exhibits six distinct phases as a result of four types of structural transformation in response to different stimuli.