Monitoring the coordination modulator shell at MOF nanocrystals

Denise Zacher, Roman Nayuk, Ralf Schweins, Roland A. Fischer, Klaus Huber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A small angle neutron scattering (SANS) study is presented, which investigates the impact of a modulator on nucleation and growth of MOF-5 nanoparticles. Two DMF solutions, one with the secondary building unit Zn 4O(C6H5COO)6 (SBU) and one with terephthalic acid (BDC) as a linker, were mixed, and 5 min after generation of the mixture, monodentate 4-n-decylbenzoic acid was added as a modulator agent. Time-resolved SANS during the initial stages of the particle formation process offered insight into morphological transformations during the first hours. Subsequently, it could be demonstrated that a shell is formed by the modulator wrapping around the growing MOF-5 particles while directing the formation of MOF-5 nanoparticles. This has been made possible by an identification of a mixture of deuterated and hydrogenated solvent (DMF), which matches the scattering contrast of MOF-5, thus giving access to the scattering signal of the modulator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4859-4863
Number of pages5
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Issue number9
StatePublished - 3 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


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