Precise control over the crystalline phase and crystallographic orientation within thin films of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) is highly desirable. Here, we report a comparison of the liquid- and vapour-phase film deposition of two copper-dicarboxylate MOFs starting from an oriented metal hydroxide precursor.
X-ray diffraction revealed that the vapour- or liquid-phase reaction of the linker with this precursor results in different crystalline phases, morphologies, and orientations. Pole figure analysis showed that solution-based growth of the MOFs follows the axial texture of the metal hydroxide precursor, resulting in heteroepitaxy. In contrast, the vapour-phase method results in non-epitaxial growth with uniplanar texture only.