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Langmuir. 2013 Oct 29;29(43):13168-74. doi: 10.1021/la402882a. Epub 2013 Oct 15.

Shape and size controlled synthesis of MOF nanocrystals with the assistance of ionic liquid mircoemulsions.

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  • 1CAS Key Laboratory of Colloid and Interface and Thermodynamics, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing, China.


In this work, the La-metal-organic frameworks (La-MOFs) were synthesized using lanthanum(III) nitrate and 1,3,5-benzenetricarboxylic acid (BTC) in H2O-in-1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate (bmimPF6), bmimPF6-in-water, and the bicontinuous microemulsions stabilized by surfactant TX-100. The MOFs prepared were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), and FT-IR methods, and the microstructures of the microemulsions in the H2O/bmimPF6/TX-100 system were studied by small-angle X-ray scattering (SXAS) technique. It was shown that the dispersed droplets in the water-in-bmimPF6, bicontinuous and bmimPF6-in-water microemulsions were spherical, lamellar, and cylindrical, respectively. The shapes of the La-MOFs synthesized were similar to that of the droplets in the corresponding microemulsions. This indicated that the morphology of MOFs could be controlled by the microstructures of the microemulsions. On the basis of the systematic experimental results, the mechanism for controlling the morphology of the MOFs was proposed.

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