Single-crystal capacitive sensors of HKUST-1 @ Adv. Funct. Mat.!

The polyhedral shape and fragile nature of single crystals of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) hinder their processing using standard microfabrication techniques. As a result, the fabrication of surface patterns and microelectrodes on MOF single crystals is challenging, which limits both the direct electrical interrogation of crystals in research and their integration into optical and electrical devices.

In this report, a new strategy to readily fabricate surface-embossed micropatterns and surface-embedded gold electrodes on MOF single crystals using a space-confined, one-step solvothermal synthesis is demonstrated. This method is based on the confined growth of the MOF crystal around prefabricated metal patterns with different adhesion strengths to the growth surface, producing features as small as 5 µm.

As a proof of concept, micropatterns are created on flat single crystals of the MOF HKUST-1, exhibiting the function as a diffraction grating. Additionally, a single-crystal HKUST-1 capacitive gas sensor with surface-embedded electrodes that serves as a stable platform for the investigation of ethanol diffusion in the MOF pores is fabricated.

More information can be found here, or on the Publication page of our website.

Photocurable resin-silica composites for 3D printing microfluidic components onto PCBs @Materials Today Comm.!

Fabricating microfluidics directly onto a printed circuit board (PCB) is a promising method to produce integrated systems. We applied stereolithography (SLA) to 3D print microfluidic components directly onto PCBs. Current SLA resins suffer from significant thermal expansion, which leads to adhesion issues during temperature cycling. In this paper, we report the development of photocurable composites with a low coefficient of thermal expansion (low-CTE composites) to address this bonding issue by minimizing the interfacial thermal stress. The resulting low-CTE resin-silica composites robustly bond to PCBs and can be used for fabricating PCB-based microfluidics in chemical engineering or thermal management (e.g., chemical reaction, 3D packaging, or heat removal devices).

More information can be found here, or on the Publication page of our website.

Ppm detection of VOCs via SPPs and MOFs @ACS Appl. Nano. Mat.!

Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) are promising materials to realize chemical sensors. However, achieving high sensitivities requires the reproducible deposition of well-defined MOF films and their integration with a suitable sensor design.

In this work, we report the sensitive detection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by transducing the adsorption in zeolitic imidazolate framework 8 (ZIF-8) thin films, prepared by chemical vapor deposition, into surface plasmon polariton shifts measured via total internal reflection ellipsometry. SPP resonances tunable over the entire Vis–NIR range and as sharp as 14 nm are obtained for optimized synthesis conditions. Record-breaking shifts stronger than 150 nm upon methanol uptake and a limit of detection below 1 ppm are observed.

The paper can be accessed here or on the Publications page of our website.

Custom binder-jetting 3D printer @Review of Scientific Instruments!

The limited control over the printing process in commercial powder bed 3D printers hinders the exploration of novel materials and applications. In this study, we report a custom binder-jetting 3D printer. The resulting fine-grained control over the printing process enables features such as voxel-based control over the printed ink volume, adaptive layer thickness, and selective multi-pass printing. Additionally, a protocol was developed to optimize the 3D printing process for new build materials and binders, in which resolution tests were used as a guideline for improving the dimensional accuracy.

The paper can be accessed here, or on the Publication page.

Scattering model for composite stereolithography @ ACS Applied polymer materials!

Fillers are used to modify the properties of photoresins used in stereolithography (SLA). The resulting composite formulations tend to have a decreasing cure depth for increasing particle loadings due to light scattering. However, some composites show the opposite effect: the cure depth increases with the particle loading. This study provides insights into light scattering in the particle filled SLA resins to unify these seemingly contradictory observations.

A modified Lambert−Beer equation that considers both scattering and absorption was established to evaluate the findings and expand the understanding of scattering in these composite formulations. This unified working curve equation facilitates the further development of particle-matrix SLA resins.

The paper can be accessed here or on the Publications page of our website.

Metal halide perovskite photodetector arrays via dry lift-off patterning @Adv. Eng. Mat.!

Metal halide perovskites draw increasing attention as photodetector materials due to their strong visible light absorption and resulting photocurrent. The development of efficient fabrication routes to realize high-resolution perovskite pixel arrays is critical to enable practical devices.

In this work, we report a dry lift-off process to fabricate methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3) pixels on different substrates, with a resolution down to 5 µm. Accordingly, 8 × 10 photodetector arrays were fabricated on both glass and flexible polyethylene terephthalate (PET). These arrays show a sensitive photoresponse over a broad wavelength range from 320 to 760 nm. Moreover, when encapsulated by a Parylene-C overlayer, the photodetector arrays on glass substrate show remarkable air stability, without noticeable performance loss after 10 days in ambient air, and the flexible photodetector arrays on PET substrate show excellent bending tolerance, retaining nearly 95% of the response after 170 bending cycles.

The paper can be accessed here or on the Publications page of our website.

CVD of Ionic Liquids @Angewandte Chemie!

Film deposition and high-resolution patterning of ionic liquids (ILs) remain a challenge, despite a broad range of applications that would benefit from this type of processing.

In this work, we demonstrate for the first time the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of ILs. The IL-CVD method is based on the formation of a non-volatile IL through the reaction of two vaporized precursors. Ionogel micropatterns can be easily obtained via the combination of IL-CVD and standard photolithography, and the resulting microdrop arrays can be used as microreactors.

The IL-CVD approach will facilitate leveraging the properties of ILs in a range of applications and microfabricated devices.

The paper can be accessed here or on the Publications page of our website.

Photoswitching in anthracene loaded MOFs @EJIC!

The confinement of luminescent guest molecules in porous host materials can induce photophysical properties different from either component in isolation.

In this work, we present the photophysical behavior of anthracene and its substituted analogs in a series of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and inorganic molecular sieves. Fluorescence photoswitching of the guest molecules through photoinduced dimerization is observed only in MOFs with a favorable pore volume and geometry.

The paper can be accessed here, or on the Publication page of our website.


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