A new method to position and functionalize metal-organic framework crystals

Paolo Falcaro, Anita Hill, Kate Nairn, Jacek Jasieniak, James Mardel, Timothy Bastow, Sheridan Mayo, Michele Gimona, Daniel Gomez, Harold Whitfield, Raffaele Ricco, Alessandro Patelli, Benedetta Marmiroli, Heinz Amenitsch, Tobias Colson, Laura Villanova, Dario Buso

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148 Citations (Scopus)


With controlled nanometre-sized pores and surface areas of thousands of square metres per gram, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) may have an integral role in future catalysis, filtration and sensing applications. In general, for MOF-based device fabrication, well-organized or patterned MOF growth is required, and thus conventional synthetic routes are not suitable. Moreover, to expand their applicability, the introduction of additional functionality into MOFs is desirable. Here, we explore the use of nanostructured poly-hydrate zinc phosphate (alpha-hopeite) microparticles as nucleation seeds for MOFs that simultaneously address all these issues. Affording spatial control of nucleation and significantly accelerating MOF growth, these alpha-hopeite microparticles are found to act as nucleation agents both in solution and on solid surfaces. In addition, the introduction of functional nanoparticles (metallic, semiconducting, polymeric) into these nucleating seeds translates directly to the fabrication of functional MOFs suitable for molecular size-selective applications
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 19
Number of pages19
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Cite this

Falcaro, P., Hill, A., Nairn, K., Jasieniak, J., Mardel, J., Bastow, T., Mayo, S., Gimona, M., Gomez, D., Whitfield, H., Ricco, R., Patelli, A., Marmiroli, B., Amenitsch, H., Colson, T., Villanova, L., & Buso, D. (2011). A new method to position and functionalize metal-organic framework crystals. Nature Communications, 2(1), 1 - 19. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms1234