Bringing MOFs Down to Size
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) can now be nanofabricated – but what impact could the materials have on analytical science?
James Strachan |
MOFs are porous crystalline materials composed of metal ions and organic molecules. They have excited researchers because of their extremely large surface-areas – the largest of any known material – and the flexibility with which their chemical functionality can be tuned. They are also very robust, with high mechanical and thermal stabilities. However, the current synthesis pathways used to obtain MOFs are incompatible with nanofabrication, meaning they cannot be designed and manufactured at the nanoscale.
Researchers from the Center for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis at the University of Leuven set out to develop a method of synthesizing MOFs that aligns with the way nanoscale devices are manufactured (1). “Vapor phase deposition methods are the cornerstone of nanofabrication,” says Rob Ameloot, lead author of the study. “We therefore set out to synthesize a crystalline and porous MOF using vaporized precursors.”
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