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Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 650;

Comparison of Surface-Bound and Free-Standing Variations of HKUST-1 MOFs: Effect of Activation and Ammonia Exposure on Morphology, Crystallinity, and Composition

Department of Chemistry, Hope College, 35 E. 12th Street, Holland, MI 49422, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 28 June 2018 / Revised: 16 August 2018 / Accepted: 21 August 2018 / Published: 23 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Development of Nanostructured Thin Films)
PDF [4790 KB, uploaded 10 September 2018]


Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are extremely porous, crystalline materials with high surface area for potential use in gas storage, sequestration, and separations. Toward incorporation into structures for these applications, this study compares three variations of surface-bound and free-standing HKUST-1 MOF structures: surface-anchored MOF (surMOF) thin film, drop-cast film, and bulk powder. Herein, effects of HKUST-1 ammonia interaction and framework activation, which is removal of guest molecules via heat, are investigated. Impact on morphology and crystal structure as a function of surface confinement and size variance are examined. Scanning probe microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy monitor changes in morphology and crystal structure, track ammonia uptake, and examine elemental composition. After fabrication, ammonia uptake is observed for all MOF variations, but reveals dramatic morphological and crystal structure changes. However, activation of the framework was found to stabilize morphology. For activated surMOF films, findings demonstrate consistent morphology throughout uptake, removal, and recycling of ammonia over multiple exposures. To understand morphological effects, additional ammonia exposure experiments with controlled post-synthetic solvent adsorbates were conducted utilizing a HKUST-1 standard powder. These findings are foundational for determining the capabilities and limitation of MOF films and powders. View Full-Text
Keywords: metal-organic framework; microscopy; thin films; powders metal-organic framework; microscopy; thin films; powders

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Bowser, B.H.; Brower, L.J.; Ohnsorg, M.L.; Gentry, L.K.; Beaudoin, C.K.; Anderson, M.E. Comparison of Surface-Bound and Free-Standing Variations of HKUST-1 MOFs: Effect of Activation and Ammonia Exposure on Morphology, Crystallinity, and Composition. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 650.

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