Size Control of the MOF NU-1000 through Manipulation of the Modulator/Linker Competition

Thomas E. Webber, Sai Puneet Desai, Rebecca L. Combs, Spencer Bingham, Connie C. Lu, R. Lee Penn

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NU-1000 is a stable, zirconium-based metal-organic framework (MOF) that has been used extensively as a scaffold for the installation of catalytic species, among other applications. The synthesis of NU-1000 follows a two-step modulated procedure, whereby the MOF grows as modulator molecules bound to the node are replaced with organic linker molecules. Manipulating the competition between the modulator and linker molecules for the binding sites on the node leads to control of reaction rate and the resulting NU-1000 particle size. By modifying the linker, modulator, and base concentrations and zirconium precursor, we can synthesize high-purity and monodisperse NU-1000 from 300 nm to almost 10 μm in length. Despite a wide range of particle sizes and synthetic conditions, the uptake of a dicobalt complex remained consistent per node. Further control over particle size can lead to more facile high-resolution characterization using methods like electron microscopy and spectroscopy as well as open a wider range of potential applications, including nanoscale applications like biological imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2965-2972
Number of pages8
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 6 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank N. Tran (Univ. of Minnesota) for his assistance with TGA and Dr. J. Myers (Univ. of Minnesota) for his help and expertise with scanning transmission electron microscopy. This work is supported as part of the Inorganometallic Catalysis Design Center, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences under Award No. DE-SC0012702. Parts of this work were carried out in the Characterization Facility, Univ. of Minnesota, which receives partial support from NSF through the MRSEC program.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.

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  • MRSEC SEED Projects DMR-1420013


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  • MRSEC Program DMR-1420013

    Lodge, T.


    Project: Research project

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