FWF - Nanocrystals - 2D and 3D printing of Metal-Organic Framework nanocrystals via digital-light processing

Project: Research project

Project Details


Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) are nano- to microscopic crystalline powder materials formed by the coordination of metal-containing units and organic linkers, exhibiting a porosity that outperforms classical materials such as zeolites and carbons. Over the last three decades, MOFs have been considered among the principal materials of interest due to their exceptional sorption capacities and versatility, displaying potential for a wide range of applications including gas storage, catalysis, separation, and sensing. Although several important milestones have been achieved, there is still a significant delay in transforming this basic science into real industrial applications. This bottleneck is mostly due to the lack of techniques for the processing of MOF powders into both high-density 3D structures and robustly surface-anchored films and patterns, while preserving their physicochemical properties. The objective of this project consists of developing a general approach for the covalent assembly of MOFs into surface patterns and 3D architectures with unprecedented control of the crystal characteristics using digital-light processing (DLP). The first specific aim will consist of the transformation of nanoscopic MOFs (nMOFs) crystals into core-shell photoreactive building-blocks. Second, the functionalized nMOFs, acting like molecules in solution, will be photo-immobilized on silicon using a 3D printer. The integration of a flow-through system into the DLP printer will enable the multiplexing of different MOFs. A miniaturized multiplexed luminescent sensor for the quantification of four gases will demonstrate the potential of this approach. Finally, a systematic exploration of formulations for the 3D printing of the functionalized nMOFs will be deployed, with the aim of minimizing the binding agents and integrating strategies for the post-printing consolidation into dense monoliths. The completion of the objectives of this project will enable surface multiplexed MOFs patterning for the fabrication of multi-sensors, lab-on-a-chip devices, micro-separators, and MOF-based electronics, as well as the 3D printing of MOFs and MOFs composites for their densification and shaping - facilitating their use in myriad industrial applications, by using commercially available and cost-effective 3D printers and reagents.
Effective start/end date1/11/2130/10/23


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