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Dynamic electric field alignment of metal-organic framework micro- rods

Cheng, Fei; Young, Adam J; Bouillard, Jean-Sebastien G.; Kemp, Neil T.; Guillet-Nicolas, Rémy; Hall, Connor H; Roberts, David; Jaafar, Ayoub H; Adawi, Ali M.; Kleitz, Freddy; Imhof, Arnout; Reithofer, Mi-Chael R; Chin, Jia Min


Fei Cheng

Adam J Young

Neil T. Kemp

Rémy Guillet-Nicolas

Connor H Hall

David Roberts

Ayoub H Jaafar

Freddy Kleitz

Arnout Imhof

Mi-Chael R Reithofer

Jia Min Chin


Alignment of Metal Organic Framework (MOF) crystals has previously been performed via careful control of oriented MOF growth on substrates, as well as by dynamic magnetic alignment. We show here that microrod crystals of the MOF NU-1000 can also be dynamically aligned via electric fields whilst suspended in bromobenzene, giving rise to rapid electrooptical responses. This method of dynamic MOF alignment opens up new avenues of MOF control which are important for integration of MOFs into switchable electronic devices as well as in other applications such as reconfigurable sensors or optical systems. Metal-organic frameworks, which are crystalline materials comprising of inorganic nodes linked by organic ligands, are of significant research interest due to their flexible choice of link-ers and metals which afford them wide-ranging applications 1-3 such as in optics, sensing, electronics, gas separations and energy storage. It should also be noted that as most MOFs possess lattice ani-sotropy along different crystallographic axes, their corresponding chemical and physical properties also significantly differ along different crystallographic directions. Therefore, to fully exploit directional functionality of MOFs, it is important to be able to control MOF particle orientation. However, as MOF materials are typically synthesized as loose colloidal powders, it is challenging to impose and integrate particle orientational control into their utilization. Research in this area has consequently focused on growth of MOF crystals on various sub-strates, to favour selective directional growth. 4-6 However, this is time-consuming, and significant care must be taken to control crystal growth. Furthermore, the growth conditions for one type of MOF cannot simply be applied wholesale to other MOFs, with considerations of MOF-substrate lattice matching and interfacial physicochemical interactions complicating the widespread application of this approach. 7 Significantly, this approach renders the MOF orientation static, hindering the use of MOFs in applications requiring dynamicity, such as in stimuli-responsive devices, whereby the MOFs can reorient themselves under changing conditions. Given the vast applicability of MOFs, the ability to control MOF alignment in a dynamic fashion will have significant implications for many areas. The long range molecular order imposed by the MOF lattices, and their tuneable physicochemical properties, also render MOFs especially attractive for use in electronic devices. 8 E-field control of MOFs is therefore particularly desirable and there are emerging reports of external E-field MOF manipulation. Examples current driven synthesis of ZIF-8, 9 field-driven rotation of MOF ligands, 10-11 as well as the E-field induced polymorph switching of ZIF-8 12 and MIL-53. 13-15 Reports pertaining to conFigure 1. a-c) View of NU-1000 lattice along the a, b and c crystallographic axes respectively, showing the lattice anisotropy; d) Scanning electron micrograph of NU-1000 microrods where the shape anisotropy of the particles can be clearly observed.


Cheng, F., Young, A. J., Bouillard, J. G., Kemp, N. T., Guillet-Nicolas, R., Hall, C. H., …Chin, J. M. (2019). Dynamic electric field alignment of metal-organic framework micro- rods. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 141(33), 12989-12993.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 1, 2019
Online Publication Date Aug 5, 2019
Publication Date Aug 21, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 9, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 6, 2020
Journal Journal of the American Chemical Society
Print ISSN 0002-7863
Electronic ISSN 1520-5126
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 141
Issue 33
Article Number 1
Pages 12989-12993
Keywords Colloid and Surface Chemistry; Biochemistry; General Chemistry; Catalysis
Public URL


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Copyright Statement
This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Journal of the American Chemical Society, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see [DOI]

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