Post-Synthetic Anisotropic Wet-Chemical Etching of Colloidal Sodalite ZIF Crystals

Civan Avci, Javier Ariñez-Soriano, Arnau Carné-Sánchez, Vincent Guillerm, Carlos Carbonell, Inhar Imaz, Daniel Maspoch

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    167 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2015 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Controlling the shape of metal-organic framework (MOF) crystals is important for understanding their crystallization and useful for myriad applications. However, despite the many advances in shaping of inorganic nanoparticles, post-synthetic shape control of MOFs and, in general, molecular crystals remains embryonic. Herein, we report using a simple wet-chemistry process at room temperature to control the anisotropic etching of colloidal ZIF-8 and ZIF-67 crystals. Our work enables uniform reshaping of these porous materials into unprecedented morphologies, including cubic and tetrahedral crystals, and even hollow boxes, by an acid-base reaction and subsequent sequestration of leached metal ions. Etching tests on these ZIFs reveal that etching occurs preferentially in the crystallographic directions richer in metal-ligand bonds; that, along these directions, the etching rate tends to be faster on the crystal surfaces of higher dimensionality; and that the etching can be modulated by adjusting the pH of the etchant solution.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)14417-14421
    JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
    Issue number48
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2015


    • anisotropic etching
    • hollow particles
    • metal-organic frameworks
    • porosity
    • zeolitic-imidazolate frameworks


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