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  • Post-Synthetic Anisotropic Wet-Chemical Etching of Colloidal Sodalite ZIF Crystals

    Avci C., Ariñez-Soriano J., Carné-Sánchez A., Guillerm V., Carbonell C., Imaz I., Maspoch D. Angewandte Chemie - International Edition; 54 (48): 14417 - 14421. 2015. 10.1002/anie.201507588. IF: 11.261

    Controlling the shape of metal-organic framework (MOF) crystals is important for understanding their crystallization and useful for myriad applications. However, despite the many advances in shaping of inorganic nanoparticles, post-synthetic shape control of MOFs and, in general, molecular crystals remains embryonic. Herein, we report using a simple wet-chemistry process at room temperature to control the anisotropic etching of colloidal ZIF-8 and ZIF-67 crystals. Our work enables uniform reshaping of these porous materials into unprecedented morphologies, including cubic and tetrahedral crystals, and even hollow boxes, by an acid-base reaction and subsequent sequestration of leached metal ions. Etching tests on these ZIFs reveal that etching occurs preferentially in the crystallographic directions richer in metal-ligand bonds; that, along these directions, the etching rate tends to be faster on the crystal surfaces of higher dimensionality; and that the etching can be modulated by adjusting the pH of the etchant solution. © 2015 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.