The application of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) as a sensing layer has been attracting great interest over the last decade, due to their uniform properties in terms of high porosity and tunability, which provides a large surface area and/or centers for trapping/binding a targeted analyte. Here we report the fabrication of a highly sensitive humidity sensor that is based on composite thin films of HKUST-1 MOF and carbon nanotubes (CNT). The composite sensing films were fabricated by spin coating technique on a quartz-crystal microbalance (QCM) and a comparison of their shift in resonance frequencies to adsorbed water vapor (5 to 75% relative humidity) is presented. Through optimization of the CNT and HKUST-1 composition, we could demonstrate a 230% increase in sensitivity compared to plain HKUST-1 film. The optimized CNT-HKUST-1 composite thin films are stable, reliable, and have an average sensitivity of about 2.5×10−5 (Δf/f) per percent of relative humidity, which is up to ten times better than previously reported QCM-based humidity sensors. The approach presented here is facile and paves a promising path towards enhancing the sensitivity of MOF-based sensors.
Assen, Ayalew Hussen Assen; Yassine, Omar; Shekhah, Osama; Eddaoudi, Mohamed; Salama, Khaled N.(ACS Sensors, American Chemical Society (ACS), 2017-08-15)[Article]
This work reports on the fabrication and deployment of a select metal-organic framework (MOF) thin film as an advanced chemical capacitive sensor for the sensing/detection of ammonia (NH3) at room temperature. Namely, the MOF thin film sensing layer consists of a rare-earth (RE) MOF (RE-fcu-MOF) deposited on a capacitive interdigitated electrode (IDE). Purposely, the chemically stable naphthalene-based RE-fcu-MOF (NDC-Y-fcu-MOF) was elected and prepared/arranged as a thin film on a pre-functionalized capacitive IDE via the solvothermal growth method. Unlike earlier realizations, the fabricated MOF-based sensor showed a notable detection sensitivity for NH3 at concentrations down to 1 ppm, with a detection limit appraised to be around 100 ppb (at room temperature) even in the presence of humidity and/or CO2. Distinctly, the NDC-Y-fcu-MOF based sensor exhibited the required stability to NH3, in contract to other reported MOFs, and a remarkable detection selectivity towards NH3 vs. CH4, NO2, H2 and C7H8. The NDC-Y-fcu-MOF based sensor exhibited excellent performance for sensing ammonia for simulated breathing system in the presence of the mixture of carbon dioxide and/or humidity (water vapor), with no major alteration in the detection signal.
CsPb2Br5 is a ternary halogen-plumbate material with close characteristics to well-reported halide perovskites. Due to its unconventional two-dimensional structure, CsPb2Br5 is being looked at broadly for potential applications in optoelectronics. CsPb2Br5 investigations are currently limited to nanostructures and powder forms of the material, which present unclear and conflicting optical properties. In this study, we present the synthesis and characterization of CsPb2Br5 bulk single crystals, which enabled us to finally clarify the material's optical features. Our CsPb2Br5 crystal has a two-dimensional structure with Pb2Br5- layers spaced by Cs+ cations, and exhibits a ~3.1 eV indirect bandgap with no emission in the visible spectrum.
Wang, Shuang; Belmabkhout, Youssef; Cairns, Amy; Li, Guanghua; Huo, Qisheng; Liu, Yunling; Eddaoudi, Mohamed(ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, American Chemical Society (ACS), 2017-07-11)[Article]
A strategy based on metal-ligand directed assembly of metal-organic squares (MOSs), built-up from four-membered ring (4MR) secondary building units (SBUs), has been employed for the design and construction of isoreticular zeolite-like supramolecular assemblies (ZSAs). Four porous Co-based ZSAs having the same underlying gis topology, but differing only with respect to the capping and bridging linkers, were successfully isolated and fully characterized. In this series, each MOS in ZSA-3-ZSA-6 possess an ideal square geometry and is connected to four neighboring MOS via a total of 16 hydrogen bonds to give a 3-periodic porous network.To systematically assess the effect of the pore system (size and functionality) on the gas adsorption properties, we evaluated the MOSs for their affinity for different probe molecules such as CO2 and light hydrocarbons. ZSA-3-ZSA-6 showed high thermal stability (up to 300 °C) and was proven highly porous as evidenced by gas adsorption studies. Notably, alkyl-functionalized MOSs were found to offer potential for selective separation of CO2, C3H6, and C3H8 from CH4 and H2 containing gas stream, such as natural gas and refinery-off gases.
AbdulHalim, Rasha; Bhatt, Prashant; Belmabkhout, Youssef; Shkurenko, Aleksander; Adil, Karim; Barbour, Leonard J.; Eddaoudi, Mohamed(Journal of the American Chemical Society, American Chemical Society (ACS), 2017-06-29)[Article]
Conventional adsorbents, namely zeolites and silica gel, are often used to control humidity by adsorbing water; however, adsorbents capable of dual functionality of humidification and dehumidification, offering the desired control of the moisture level at room temperature, has yet to be explored. Here we report Y-shp-MOF-5, a hybrid microporous highly-connected Rare-Earth based metal-organic framework (MOF), with dual functionality for moisture control within the recommended range of relative humidity (45% to 65% RH) set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Y-shp-MOF-5 exhibits exceptional structural integrity, robustness and unique humidity-control performance as confirmed by the large number (thousand) of conducted water vapor adsorption-desorption cycles. The retained structural integrity and the mechanism of water sorption were corroborated using in situ single crystal X-ray diffraction (SCXRD) studies. The resultant working water uptake of 0.45 g.g-1 is solely regulated by a simple adjustment of the relative humidity, positioning this hydrolytically stable MOF as a prospective adsorbent for humidity control in confined spaces such as space shuttles, aircraft cabins and air-conditioned buildings.
Shi, Yanshu; Cairns, Amy; Liu, Yunling; Belmabkhout, Youssef; Cai, Xuechao; Pang, Maolin; Eddaoudi, Mohamed(CrystEngComm, Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2017-06-23)[Article]
In this report, indium-based rho-and sod-ZMOFs with different morphologies and sizes were prepared. Simultaneous morphology evolution and phase transformation from porous rho-to nonporous sod-ZMOFs were reported for the first time by simply varying the concentration of structure directing agents (SDAs).
Adil, Karim; Belmabkhout, Youssef; Pillai, Renjith S.; Cadiau, Amandine; Bhatt, Prashant; Assen, Ayalew Hussen Assen; Maurin, Guillaume; Eddaoudi, Mohamed(Chem. Soc. Rev., Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2017-05-30)[Article]
The separation of related molecules with similar physical/chemical properties is of prime industrial importance and practically entails a substantial energy penalty, typically necessitating the operation of energy-demanding low temperature fractional distillation techniques. Certainly research efforts, in academia and industry alike, are ongoing with the main aim to develop advanced functional porous materials to be adopted as adsorbents for the effective and energy-efficient separation of various important commodities. Of special interest is the subclass of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with pore aperture sizes below 5-7 Å, namely ultra-microporous MOFs, which in contrast to conventional zeolites and activated carbons show great prospects for addressing key challenges in separations pertaining to energy and environmental sustainability, specifically materials for carbon capture and separation of olefin/paraffin, acetylene/ethylene, linear/branched alkanes, xenon/krypton, etc. In this tutorial review we discuss the latest developments in ultra-microporous MOF adsorbents and their use as separating agents via thermodynamics and/or kinetics and molecular sieving. Appreciably, we provide insights into the distinct microscopic mechanisms governing the resultant separation performances, and suggest a plausible correlation between the inherent structural features/topology of MOFs and the associated gas/vapour separation performance.
Cadiau, Amandine; Belmabkhout, Youssef; Adil, Karim; Bhatt, Prashant; Pillai, Renjith S.; Shkurenko, Aleksander; Martineau-Corcos, Charlotte; Maurin, Guillaume; Eddaoudi, Mohamed(Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2017-05-18)[Article]
Natural gas must be dehydrated before it can be transported and used, but conventional drying agents such as activated alumina or inorganic molecular sieves require an energy-intensive desiccant-regeneration step. We report a hydrolytically stable fluorinated metal-organic framework, AlFFIVE-1-Ni (KAUST-8), with a periodic array of open metal coordination sites and fluorine moieties within the contracted square-shaped one-dimensional channel. This material selectively removed water vapor from gas streams containing CO2, N2, CH4, and higher hydrocarbons typical of natural gas, as well as selectively removed both H2O and CO2 in N2-containing streams. The complete desorption of the adsorbed water molecules contained by the AlFFIVE-1-Ni sorbent requires relatively moderate temperature (~105°C) and about half the energy input for commonly used desiccants.
Chernikova, Valeriya; Shekhah, Osama; Spanopoulos, Ioannis; Trikalitis, Pantelis N.; Eddaoudi, Mohamed(Chem. Commun., Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2017-05-10)[Article]
Precise control of epitaxial growth of MOF-on-MOF thin films, for ordered hierarchical tbo-type structures is demonstrated. The heterostructured MOF thin film was fabricated by successful sequential deposition of layers from two different MOFs. The 2-periodic layers, edge-transitive 4,4-square lattices regarded as supermolecular building layers, were commendably cross-linked using a combination of inorganic/organic and organic pillars.
In this work, we present the implementation of reticular chemistry and the molecular building block approach to unveil the appropriateness of Rare Earth (RE) based Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) with fcu topology for H2S removal applications. Markedly, RE-fcu-MOFs, having different pore apertures sizes in the range of 4.7-6.0 Å and different functionalities, showed excellent properties for the removal of H2S from CO2 and CH4 containing gases such as natural gas, biogas and landfill gas. A series of cyclic mixed gas breakthrough experiments were carried out on three isoreticular fcu-MOFs, containing linkers of different lengths (between 8.4 and 5 Å), by using simulated natural gas mixture containing CO2/H2S/CH4 (5%/5%/90%) under different adsorption and regeneration conditions. The fcu-MOF platform has good H2S removal capacity with a high H2S/CO2 selectivity, outperforming benchmark materials like activated carbon and Zeolites in many aspects. The comparison of H2S removal performance with the related structures of the RE-fcu-MOFs provides insightful information to shed light on the relationship between the structural features of the MOF and its associated H2S separation properties. The excellent H2S/CO2 and H2S/CH4 selectivity of these materials offer great prospective for the production of pure H2S, with acceptable levels of CO2for Claus process to produce elemental sulfur.
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