Electrochemically Induced Synthesis and Surface Deposition and Growth of Crystalline Metal-organic Frameworks


Applications for this technology are found in materials for gas storage, gas separation, drug transport, molecular separations, catalysis, or sensors.

Problem Addressed

Addresses the need to grow metal organic frameworks (MOFs) on surfaces to make continuous crack-free membranes.


The invention describes a novel approach to the growth and synthesis of MOFs that result in direct deposition of MOF crystals and crystalline films on a conductive surface. The approach involves electrochemical generation of base equivalents (such as hydroxide) by the reduction of water, oxoanions, or other reductive processes that increase the local pH near a conductive surface (electrode). The base equivalents (such as hydroxide anions) generated at the cathode deprotonate precursor ligands in the electrolyte solution, which then react with metal cations to form crystallite particles on the conductive surface.


  • Single step at room temperature, no need for solvothermal conditions
  • Fast reaction times that can be controlled by varying current density at electroactive surface
  • Flexible: can take any conductive surface and deposit MOFs composed of any metal ions and organic ligands