Perspectives on the influence of crystal size and morphology on the properties of porous framework materials

C. Hobday, S. Krause, S.M.J. Rogge, J.D. Evans, H. Bunzen
Frontiers in Chemistry
9, 772059


Miniaturization is a key aspect of materials science. Owing to the increase in quality experimental and computational tools available to researchers, it has become clear that the crystal size and morphology of porous framework materials, including metal-organic frameworks and covalent organic frameworks, play a vital role in defining the physicochemical behaviour of these materials. However, given the multiscale and multidisciplinary challenges associated with establishing how crystal size and morphology affect the structure and behaviour of a material – from local to global structural modifications and from static to dynamic effects – a comprehensive mechanistic understanding of size and morphology effects is missing. Herein, we provide our perspective on the current state-of-the-art of this topic, drawn from various complementary disciplines. From a fundamental point of view, we discuss how controlling the crystal size and morphology can alter the mechanical and adsorptive properties of porous framework materials and how this can impact phase stability. Special attention is also given to the quest to develop new computational tools capable of modelling these multiscale effects. From a more applied point of view, given the recent progress in this research field, we highlight the importance of crystal size and morphology control in drug delivery. Moreover, we provide an outlook on how to advance each discussed field by size and morphology control, which would open new design opportunities for functional porous framework materials.

Gold Open Access