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Langmuir. 2013 Jun 25;29(25):7896-902. doi: 10.1021/la4014637. Epub 2013 Jun 11.

An unconventional rapid synthesis of high performance metal-organic framework membranes.

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Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University, 3122 TAMU, College Station, TX, USA.


Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are attractive for gas separation membrane applications due to their microporous channels with tunable pore shape, size, and functionality. Conventional MOF membrane fabrication techniques, namely in situ and secondary growth, pose challenges for their wider commercial applications. These challenges include reproducility, scalability, and high manufacturing cost. Recognizing that the coordination chemistry of MOFs is fundamentally different from the covalent chemistry of zeolites, we developed a radically different strategy for MOF membrane synthesis. Using this new technique, we were able to produce continuous well-intergrown membranes of prototypical MOFs, HKUST-1 and ZIF-8, in a relatively short period of time (tens of min). With a minimal consumption of precursors and a greatly simplified synthesis protocol, our new technique provides potential for a continuous, scalable, reproducible, and easily commercializable route for the rapid synthesis of MOF membranes. RTD-prepared MOF membranes show greatly improved gas separation performances as compared to those prepared by conventional solvothermal methods, indicating improved membrane microstructure.


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