Metal Organic Frameworks

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a class of porous crystalline solids, consisting of metal ion nodes held together by organic linkers. These materials have been intensely studied because of their record-breaking internal surface area, up to several football fields packed in a single gram of MOF material. Moreover, the organic functionality in MOFs enables engineering of the pore space truly at the molecular level.

We study several aspects of MOFs, ranging from their formation mechanisms to adsorption properties and stimuli-responsive behavior.

Example references

Electrochemical Film Deposition of the Zirconium Metal–Organic Framework UiO-66 and Application in a Miniaturized Sorbent Trap. Chem. Mater. 27, 1801-1807 (2015). 

Solvent-free synthesis of supported ZIF-8 films and patterns through transformation of deposited zinc oxide precursors. CrystEngComm 15, 9308 (2013). 

Three-Dimensional Visualization of Defects Formed during the Synthesis of Metal-Organic Frameworks: A Fluorescence Microscopy Study. Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 52, 401–405 (2013).

All publications

Coatings of functional materials

A key enabling step in leveraging the properties of MOFs in microelectronics (as active sensor coatings, low-k dielectrics, etc.) will be the development of robust thin film deposition methods. Thus far, reported procedures for the deposition of MOF thin films are adaptations of powder preparation methods and typically involve the combination of linkers and metal salts in an organic solvent, often under solvothermal conditions. However, this approach is incompatible with microelectronic fabrication processes because of corrosion and contamination issues.

We are developing thin film deposition methods for porous materials. Recently, we pioneered a chemical vapor deposition process to deposit highly conformal MOF coatings (‘MOF-CVD’). The compatibility of MOF-CVD with existing microelectronics fabrication infrastructure will greatly facilitate MOF integration in microelectronics and related applications.

Example references

An updated roadmap for the integration of metal–organic frameworks with electronic devices and chemical sensors. Chemical Society Reviews, 46, 3185-3241 (2017) 

Chemical vapour deposition of zeolitic imidazolate framework thin films. Nature Materials 15, 304–310 (2016).

Lithographic Deposition of Patterned Metal–Organic Framework Coatings Using a Photobase Generator. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 53, 5561–5565 (2014).

All publications

Additive manufacturing

The basic principle of additive manufacturing, often referred to as ‘3D printing’, is direct manufacturing of physical objects based on digital data. Objects are constructed by adding build material in layers, each one a thin cross-section of the 3D computer model of the item. The major ways in which current additive manufacturing techniques differ are in the materials that can be used and how layers are deposited and bonded.

We research several chemical aspects of 3D printing and how this exciting technology can be deployed to solve currently unexplored problems, in materials science and beyond.

Example references

3D printing in chemical engineering and catalytic technology: structured catalysts, mixers and reactors. Chemical Society Reviews (2017).

Have a look at some of our shared designs that might be useful for you as well.


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