Effect of synthesis conditions on formation pathways of metal organic framework (MOF-5) Crystals

Colin McKinstry, Eddie Cussen, Ashleigh Fletcher, Siddharth Patwardhan, Jan Sefcik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)
193 Downloads (Pure)


Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) represent a class of nanoporous crystalline materials with far reaching potential in gas storage, catalysis, and medical devices. We investigated the effects of synthesis process parameters on production of MOF-5 from terephthalic acid and zinc nitrate in diethylformamide. Under favorable synthesis conditions, we systematically mapped a solid formation diagram in terms of time and temperature for both stirred and unstirred conditions.
The synthesis of MOF-5 has been previously reported as a straightforward reaction progressing from precursor compounds in solution directly to the final MOF-5 solid phase product. However, we show that the solid phase formation process is far more complex, invariably transferring through metastable intermediate crystalline phases before the final MOF-5 phase is reached, providing new insights into the formation pathways of MOFs. We also identify process parameters suitable for scale-up and continuous manufacturing of high purity MOF-5.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5481-5489
Number of pages9
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2013


  • synthesis conditions
  • formation pathways
  • metal
  • organic framework


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