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Modulated Formation of MOF-5 NanoparticlesA SANS Analysis

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journal contribution
posted on 15.03.2012, 00:00 by R. Nayuk, D. Zacher, R. Schweins, C. Wiktor, R. A. Fischer, G. van Tendeloo, K. Huber
MOF-5 nanoparticles were prepared by mixing a solution of [Zn4O­(C6H5COO)6] with a solution of benzene-1,4-dicarboxylic acid in DMF at ambient conditions. The former species mimics as a secondary building unit (SBU), and the latter acts as linker. Mixing of the two solutions induced the formation of MOF-5 nanoparticles in dilute suspension. The applied conditions were identified as suitable for a closer investigation of the particle formation process by combined light and small angle neutron scattering (SANS). Scattering analysis revealed a significant impact of the molar ratio of the two components in the reaction mixture. Excessive use of the building unit slowed down the process. A similar effect was observed upon addition of 4n-decylbenzoic acid, which is supposed to act as a modulator. The formation mechanism leads to initial intermediates, which turn into cubelike nanoparticles with a diameter of about 60–80 nm. This initial stage is followed by an extended formation period, where nucleation proceeds over hours, leading to an increasing number of nanoparticles with the same final size of 60–80 nm.