Article

Self-assembly of polyhedral metal–organic framework particles into three-dimensional ordered superstructures

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Abstract

Self-assembly of particles into long-range, three-dimensional, ordered superstructures is crucial for the design of a variety of materials, including plasmonic sensing materials, energy or gas storage systems, catalysts and photonic crystals. Here, we have combined experimental and simulation data to show that truncated rhombic dodecahedral particles of the metal–organic framework (MOF) ZIF-8 can self-assemble into millimetre-sized superstructures with an underlying three-dimensional rhombohedral lattice that behave as photonic crystals. Those superstructures feature a photonic bandgap that can be tuned by controlling the size of the ZIF-8 particles and is also responsive to the adsorption of guest substances in the micropores of the ZIF-8 particles. In addition, superstructures with different lattices can also be assembled by tuning the truncation of ZIF-8 particles, or by using octahedral UiO-66 MOF particles instead. These well-ordered, sub-micrometre-sized superstructures might ultimately facilitate the design of three-dimensional photonic materials for applications in sensing.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by EU FP7 ERC-Co 615954, the Spanish MINECO (projects PN MAT2015-65354-C2-1-R and MAT2015-68075-R [SIFE2]) and the Comunidad de Madrid project S2013/MIT-2740 (PHAMA_2.0). It was also funded by the CERCA Programme/Generalitat de Catalunya. The authors based at ICN2 and ICMAB acknowledge the support of the Spanish MINECO through the Severo Ochoa Centers of Excellence Program (grants SEV-2013-0295 and SEV-2015-0496). The authors thank J. Albalad and J. Saiz for their help in the TGA and reflectance measurements, respectively.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), CSIC and The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Campus UAB, Bellaterra, 08193 Barcelona, Spain

    • Civan Avci
    • , Inhar Imaz
    • , Arnau Carné-Sánchez
    • , Javier Pérez-Carvajal
    •  & Daniel Maspoch
  2. Materials Science Factory, Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Calle Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, 3, 28049 Madrid, Spain

    • Jose Angel Pariente
    • , Alvaro Blanco
    •  & Cefe López
  3. Soft Condensed Matter, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University, Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC Utrecht, the Netherlands

    • Nikos Tasios
    •  & Marjolein Dijkstra
  4. Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain

    • Maria Isabel Alonso
  5. ICREA, Pg. Lluís Companys 23, 08010 Barcelona, Spain

    • Daniel Maspoch

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Contributions

C.A. and I.I. synthesized the ZIF-8 particles and the corresponding self-assembled superstructures. A.C.-S. synthesized the UiO-66 particles and the corresponding self-assembled superstructures. N.T. and M.D. performed the Floppy-Box Monte Carlo simulations. C.A., J.A.P., A.B. and C.L. performed and analysed the photonic measurements. M.I.A. performed the ellipsometry characterization, and C.A. and J.P.-C. performed the sorption measurements. D.M. conceived the project and drafted the manuscript. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Cefe López or Daniel Maspoch.

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