This tutorial review describes the role of synchrotron-based techniques in the study of the formation of Crystalline Nanoporous Framework Materials (CNFMs), such as zeolites, aluminophosphates (AlPOs) and metal organic frameworks (MOFs). Initially, a general formation process for CNFMs is described and the ‘tool kit’ (including synchrotron and non-synchrotron-based techniques) used to examine this complex process is presented. The need for realistic in situ conditions and the balance between this, data quality and time resolution, are also discussed with reference to commonly utilized in situ synchrotron-based experimental cells. The experimental studies into the formation of several CNFM systems are then examined and the role of the synchrotron-based experiments, in context with those obtained from other techniques, is discussed. From this the importance of the synchrotron-based technique is demonstrated, however it is also shown that, to obtain a more complete understanding of the formation process, complementary independent measurements are still often required. During these discussions some of the most common experimental techniques and analytical methods are also discussed in detail and critically assessed.
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