A one-step, alternative, rapid, and scalable spray-drying (SD) synthesis of metal-organic frameworks (MOF)@polymer composites with enhanced hydrolytic stabilities was reported. SD was used to encapsulate preformed MOF crystals in a polymeric matrix to generate microscale MOF@polymer spheres. For proof-of-concept Hong-Kong University of Science and Technology-1 (HKUST-1) was chosen as the water-sensitive MOF, and polystyrene (PS) as the organic polymer. The synthesis of HKUST-1@PS began with preparation of a stable colloidal suspension of HKUST-1 crystals and a solution of PS in dichloromethane (DCM). This mixture was atomized using a two-fluid nozzle. After 40 min of continuous spraying, 1.7 g of a blue powder was recovered. The sample was then washed with ethanol and dried at 120°C under vacuum. This product was analyzed through field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), which indicated that it comprised smooth microspheres of HKUST-1@PS composites and did not contain any free HKUST-1. X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) analysis of these spheres revealed a perfect match with the HKUST-1 pattern. The exclusive presence of microspheres and the match in XRPD patterns evidenced that HKUST-1 crystals were indeed entrapped within the polymeric matrix of PS.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2015|