Best practices for the synthesis, activation, and characterization of metal−organic frameworks

Ashlee J. Howarth, Aaron W. Peters, Nicolaas A. Vermeulen, Timothy C. Wang, Joseph T. Hupp, Omar K. Farha*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

386 Scopus citations


Metal−organic frameworks (MOFs) are structurally diverse materials comprised of inorganic and organic components. As the rapidly expanding field of MOF research has demonstrated, these materials are being explored for a wide variety of potential applications. In this tutorial review, we give an overview of the current best practices associated with the synthesis, activation, and characterization of MOFs. Methods described include supercritical CO2 activation, single crystal X-ray diffraction (XRD), powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), nitrogen adsorption/desorption isotherms, surface area calculations, aqueous stability tests, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), and diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS). A variety of different MOFs are presented to aid in the discussion of relevant techniques. In addition, some sections are accompanied by instructional videos to give further insight into the techniques, including tips, tricks, and suggestions only those at the bench could describe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-39
Number of pages14
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 10 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry


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