The applicability of Raman spectroscopy for phase discrimination of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) has been demonstrated with F4_MIL-140A(Ce) and F4_UiO-66(Ce); analogues prepared from the same metal and ligand sources. Each analogue exhibits unique Raman peaks, with significant differences in the low frequency region, which is more sensitive to structural variations. Non-invasive Raman monitoring of F4_MIL-140A(Ce) synthesis indicated evolution of a unique MOF Raman peak with reaction progress; conversion of this Raman signal to extent of crystallisation was in good agreement with reported reaction kinetics determined via a synchrotron diffraction method. Additionally, Raman spectroscopy indicated initial rapid consumption of the nitric acid modulator present in the reaction coinciding with an expected high probability of nucleation. Raman spectroscopy is a promising technique for rapid screening of MOFs and can be used to study the mechanism of their formation in situ with kinetic insight into both the solution and solid phases of the reaction medium.
- Raman spectroscopy
- metal–organic frameworks (MOFs)
- polymorph discrimination