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Tuesday, 08 March 2011

New Technique - Lithography-based approach for growing MOF crystals

A novel, versatile pen-type lithography-based methodology has been developed to control the growth of Metal-Organic Framework (MOF) crystals on surfaces

The team Supramolecular Nanochemistry & Materials Group at the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology (ICN), have demonstrated a novel, versatile pen-type lithography-based approach for growing HKUST-1 crystals on supports and shown that through the use of surfaces with low wettability it is possible to control the growth of a submicrometer single crystal at a desired location on a surface.

Ramón y Cajal Researcher Daniel Maspoch, and his team at the Supramolecular Nanochemistry & Materials Group at the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology (ICN), in Barcelona, have demonstrated a novel, versatile pen-type lithography-based approach for growing HKUST-1 crystals on supports and shown that through the use of surfaces with low wettability it is possible to control the growth of a submicrometer single crystal at a desired location on a surface. Their work has recently been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) and was also highlighted in Nature Nanotechnology.

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are porous crystalline materials made from metal ions and organic linkers, and they could be of use in applications such as gas storage, catalysis, separation, sensing, and drug delivery. Depending upon the intended application, fabricate techniques are needed to produce such frameworks as bulk crystalline solids, miniaturise them at the micro- or nanometer scale, or control their deposition on surfaces.

The ICN team have fabricated submicrometre crystals of a MOF called HKUST-1 at precise positions on a surface by delivering femtolitre droplets of solution containing copper ions and trimesic acid to the surface. The growth of the MOF crystals in these droplets was then controlled by the wettability of the alkanethiol-covered gold surface, which determined the extent that the droplets spread across the surface. For full details, please see the journal article.

The work of Daniel Maspoch and his team has also been recognised by Nature Nanotechnology, who feature the research results in their March 2011 Research Highlights

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja2002428 http://www.nature.com/nnano/reshigh/2011/0311/full/nnano.2011.35.html