New NIST AFM-IR Publication has Catalysis Research Implications
News Mar 25, 2014
Researchers from the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST), in collaboration with researchers from University of Lyon, France, have applied a novel microscopy technique to characterize metal-organic framework (MOF) materials, potentially opening a pathway for engineering the chemical properties of these materials at the nanoscale.* MOFs are composed of metal ions connected by organic linker molecules to form 3D-crystalline networks of nanopores with extraordinarily high surface areas, leading to applications in catalysis, chemical separation, and sensing.
Most MOFs consist of just two types of building blocks, one metal ion and one organic linker. Recently, chemists have included mixtures of linkers in order to obtain and fine tune new chemical properties in the resulting structures, which are called MixMOFs. Until now, however, the limited resolution of conventional techniques has impeded progress in understanding MixMOFs sufficiently to optimize them for desired applications.
To overcome these limitations, the researchers used the nanoIR™ from Anasys Instruments, USA. Already in its second generation, this multi-functional platform combines the lateral resolution of atomic force microscopy (AFM) with the chemical specificity of infrared spectroscopy. The NIST researchers used the nanoIR to map the chemical composition of individual In-MIL-68 MixMOF micro-crystals with nanoscale resolution. According to Andrea Centrone, a Project Leader in the CNST’s Energy Research Group, “For the first time, we can take a look into MixMOF single crystals and map the distribution of the linkers. Understanding whether MOF crystals are homogenous or not is important for applications as homogeneity in the distribution of active sites within a crystal is a prerequisite for designing advanced catalytic materials.”
The researchers believe that the use of the AFM-IR technique will stimulate MixMOF research, and help scientists improve these materials for use in a range of applications.
The Friedrich Schiller University Jena Partners with ACD/Labs to Advance its Analytical Data Management StrategyNews
Implementation of ACD/Spectrus as an analytical data management system helps researchers and students streamline NMR and MS data processing, interpretation, collaboration, and training.READ MORE
Diamonds Could Decrease Cost of Imaging and Spectroscopy DevicesNews
A new approach shows great promise for enhancing the signal from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) using lasers without expensive magnets.
Supersonic Waves May Help Electronics Beat the HeatNews
Researchers made the first observations of waves of atomic rearrangements, known as phasons, propagating supersonically through a vibrating crystal lattice—a discovery that may dramatically improve heat transport in insulators and enable new strategies for heat management in future electronics devices.READ MORE