Metal organic framework (MOF) crystals have a variety of potential applications, but have physical properties that constrain growth on various substrates. Plastic nanofibers are a potential platform for growing MOF crystals and are promising due to their own high versatility in many fields such as sensing, protective clothing, and separations. However, the conditions required for growth are too severe for plastic nanofibers and artificially producing these conditions is too expensive. It is nearly impossible to find a polymer that meets the high standards of thermal stability, chemical stability, and solubility necessary for the process. Therefore, there is a need to modify nanofibers so they are able to withstand the harsh conditions and process necessary for MOF growth.
Researchers at Arizona State University have invented a three-step process for making electrospun porous nanofiber crystal composites. It begins with an initial step of electrospinning, followed by cross-linking the plastic nanofibers by UV irradiation to produce insoluble fibers with improved chemical and thermal stability. This makes the plastic nanofibers tolerant of the harsh conditions necessary for MOF secondary growth. This novel process is also applicable to MOFs that require strong solvents and temperatures, as well as any other polymers that can be electrospun and cross-linked under mild conditions.
- Production of metal organic framework crystals
- Protective clothing
- Filtration systems
- Batteries and fuel cells
Benefits and Advantages
- Resilient – Allows plastic nanofibers to withstand the harsh conditions necessary for secondary MOF crystal growth
- Increased Range of Application – Process can extend to a broad range of fibers and MOFs
- Innovative – The approach uses UV irradiation to increase stability of plastic nanofibers
For more information about the inventor(s) and their research, please see:
For more information about related technologies, please see: