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Decomposition Process of Carboxylate MOF HKUST-1 Unveiled at the Atomic Scale Level

  • Autori: Todaro, M.; Buscarino, G.; Sciortino, L.; Alessi, A.; Messina, F.; Taddei, M.; Ranocchiari, M.; Cannas, M.; Gelardi, F.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2016
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


HKUST-1 is a metal–organic framework (MOF) which plays a significant role in both applicative and basic fields of research, thanks to its outstanding properties of adsorption and catalysis but also because it is a reference material for the study of many general properties of MOFs. Its metallic group comprises a pair of Cu2+ ions chelated by four carboxylate bridges, forming a structure known as paddle-wheel unit, which is the heart of the material. However, previous studies have well established that the paddle-wheel is incline to hydrolysis. In fact, the prolonged exposure of the material to moisture promotes the hydrolysis of Cu–O bonds in the paddle-wheels, so breaking the crystalline network. The main objective of the present experimental investigation is the determination of the details of the structural defects induced by this process in the crystal, and it has been successfully pursued by coupling the electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy with other more commonly considered techniques, such as X-ray diffraction, surface area estimation, and scanning electron microscopy. Thanks to this original approach we have recognized three stages of the process of decomposition of HKUST-1, and we have unveiled the details of the corresponding equilibrium structures of the paddle-wheels at the atomic scale level.