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Issue 2, 2012

In situ static and dynamic light scattering and scanning electron microscopy study on the crystallization of the dense zinc imidazolate framework ZIF-zni

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Abstract

The kinetics and mechanism of crystallization of the dense zinc imidazolate framework with zni topology, from comparatively dilute methanol solutions containing Zn(NO3)·6H2O and imidazole with variation of the zinc-to-imidazole ratio, were followed in situ by time-resolved static and dynamic light scattering. The light scattering data revealed that metastable primary particles of about 100 nm in diameter form rapidly upon mixing the component solutions. After a lag time that is dependent on the imidazole concentration, the primary particles aggregate into secondary particles by a monomer addition mechanism with the primary particles as the monomers. Complementary scanning electron microscopy revealed that further evolution of the secondary particles is a complex process involving polycrystalline intermediates, the non-spherical morphologies of which depend on the initial zinc-to-imidazole ratio. Time and location of the first appearance of crystalline order could so far not be established. The pure-phase ZIF-zni crystals obtained after 240 min are twins. The aspect ratio of the tetragonal crystals can be controlled via the zinc-to-imidazole ratio.

Graphical abstract: In situ static and dynamic light scattering and scanning electron microscopy study on the crystallization of the dense zinc imidazolate framework ZIF-zni

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
07 Sep 2011
Accepted
29 Oct 2011
First published
29 Nov 2011

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012,14, 511-521
Article type
Paper

In situ static and dynamic light scattering and scanning electron microscopy study on the crystallization of the dense zinc imidazolate framework ZIF-zni

T. Hikov, C. A. Schröder, J. Cravillon, M. Wiebcke and K. Huber, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012, 14, 511 DOI: 10.1039/C1CP22855B

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