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Issue 43, 2017
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Shape control in ZIF-8 nanocrystals and metal nanoparticles@ZIF-8 heterostructures

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Shape control in metal–organic frameworks still remains a challenge. We propose a strategy based on the capping agent modulator method to control the shape of ZIF-8 nanocrystals. This approach requires the use of a surfactant, cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), and a second capping agent, tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane (TRIS), to obtain ZIF-8 nanocrystals with morphology control in aqueous media. Semiempirical computational simulations suggest that both shape-inducing agents adsorb onto different surface facets of ZIF-8, thereby slowing down their crystal growth rates. While CTAB molecules preferentially adsorb onto the {100} facets, leading to ZIF-8 particles with cubic morphology, TRIS preferentially stabilizes the {111} facets, inducing the formation of octahedral crystals. Interestingly, the presence of both capping agents leads to nanocrystals with irregular shapes and higher index facets, such as hexapods and burr puzzles. Additionally, the combination of ZIF-8 nanocrystals with other materials is expected to impart additional properties due to the hybrid nature of the resulting nanocomposites. In the present case, the presence of CTAB and TRIS molecules as capping agents facilitates the synthesis of metal nanoparticle@ZIF-8 nanocomposites, due to synergistic effects which could be of use in a number of applications such as catalysis, gas sensing and storage.

Graphical abstract: Shape control in ZIF-8 nanocrystals and metal nanoparticles@ZIF-8 heterostructures

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 May 2017, accepted on 24 Jul 2017 and first published on 25 Jul 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR03739B
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017,9, 16645-16651

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    Shape control in ZIF-8 nanocrystals and metal nanoparticles@ZIF-8 heterostructures

    G. Zheng, Z. Chen, K. Sentosun, I. Pérez-Juste, S. Bals, L. M. Liz-Marzán, I. Pastoriza-Santos, J. Pérez-Juste and M. Hong, Nanoscale, 2017, 9, 16645
    DOI: 10.1039/C7NR03739B

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