3 years ago

Decoding Nucleation and Growth of Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework Thin Films with Atomic Force Microscopy and Vibrational Spectroscopy

Decoding Nucleation and Growth of Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework Thin Films with Atomic Force Microscopy and Vibrational Spectroscopy
Matthias Filez, Zafer Öztürk, Bert M. Weckhuysen
The synthesis of metal-organic framework (MOF) thin films has garnered significant attention during the past decade. By better understanding the parameters governing the nucleation and growth of such thin films, their properties can be rationally tuned, empowering their application as (reactive) membranes. Here, a combined AFM-vibrational spectroscopy research strategy is employed to detail the chemistries governing the nucleation and growth of zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF) thin films, in particular isostructural Co-ZIF-67 and Zn-ZIF-8. First, a single step direct synthesis approach is used to investigate the influence of different synthesis parameters –metal/linker ratio, temperature, and metal type– on the thin film nucleation and growth behaviour. While the metal/linker ratio has a pronounced effect on the thin film nucleation rate, the temperature mainly influences the growth kinetics of nuclei forming the thin film. In addition, the nucleation and growth of ZIF thin films is shown to be highly dependent on the electronegativity of the metal type. Thin-film thickness control can be achieved by using a multistep synthesis strategy, implying repetitive applications of single step deposition under identical synthesis conditions, for which a growth mechanism is proposed. This study provides insight into the influence of synthesis parameters on the ZIF thin film properties, using tools at hand to rationally tune MOF thin film properties. Probing film growth: A combined AFM-vibrational spectroscopy research strategy is presented to investigate the chemistries governing the nucleation and growth of Zn-ZIF-8 and Co-ZIF-67 thin films. The influence of synthesis parameters is discussed, leading to a nucleation and growth mechanism for these materials.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/chem.201702130

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