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Phase Transitions in Metal–Organic Frameworks Directly Monitored through In Situ Variable Temperature Liquid-Cell Transmission Electron Microscopy and In Situ X‑ray Diffraction

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posted on 24.02.2020, 20:07 by Jiafei Lyu, Xinyi Gong, Seung-Joon Lee, Karthikeyan Gnanasekaran, Xuan Zhang, Megan C. Wasson, Xingjie Wang, Peng Bai, Xianghai Guo, Nathan C. Gianneschi, Omar K. Farha
Zr6-based metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) with tetratopic organic linkers have been extensively investigated owing to their versatile structural tunability. While diverse topologies and polymorphism in the resulting MOFs are often encountered with tetratopic linkers and Zr6 nodes, reports on phase transitions within these systems are rare. Thus, we have a limited understanding of polymorph transformations, hindering the rational development of pure phase materials. In this study, a phase transition from a microporous MOF, scu-NU-906, to a mesoporous MOF, csq-NU-1008, was discovered and monitored through in situ variable temperature liquid-cell transmission electron microscopy (VT-LCTEM), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), and in situ variable temperature powder X-ray diffraction (VT-PXRD). It was found that the microporous- to-mesoporous transformation in the presence of formic acid occurs via a concomitant dissolution–reprecipitation process.