Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Yining Huang


Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are crystalline microporous materials that have drawn much attention in recent years for their promising applications in many fields of chemistry. To design MOFs with desired properties, a better understanding of how these frameworks self-assemble during crystallization is required. A useful technique for investigating the crystallization process of MOFs is atomic force microscopy (AFM). We have conducted AFM studies on four different MOFs: the gallium analog of the MIL-53 MOF, which exhibits the "breathing effect," and three Lead, Calcium and Cadmium-based MOFs that uses 4,4-sulfonyldibenzoate (SDB) as the organic ligand. Hydrothermal methods were used to prepare those materials, and their surface features and growth mechanisms were discussed. By exploring possible termination structures on the surfaces, we can also probe the fundamental growth units as they self-assemble to form these 3-D microporous frameworks.

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