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Zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) is one of the most stable Metal Organic Frameworks currently available, with promising properties in adsorption, separation and catalysis. Herein, we report a method for the rapid production of ZIF-8 crystals at room-temperature from methanolic solutions containing sodium acetate and metal salts. Of the different metal salts tested, copper nitrate presence prompted formation of cubic shaped ZIF-8 crystals within 5 min. Derived from this finding, an adaption of the synthesis route was implemented over copper foils and copper based metallic/non-metallic substrates, which yielded high quality shape- and size-controlled ZIF-8 crystal coatings. The outcomes also revealed a significant impact of sodium acetate as modulator and of copper ions released in the reaction media as triggering agent/co-modulator. Together these chemical species are understood to be involved in a multitude of coordination complex formation and deprotonation equilibria, thus largely determining the ZIF-8 crystal morphology and growth, especially near the copper releasing sites. Overall, this work presents an important platform for rapid and controlled synthesis of ZIF-8 crystals and coatings over metallic/non-metallic substrates, which can be adapted for advanced applications such as device integration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112163
JournalMicroporous and Mesoporous Materials
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Ravi Sharma and Joeri F.M Denayer are grateful to FWO Vlaanderen for financial support for the CATCO2RE project ( S004118N ). We also acknowledge Segato Tiriana and Dr. Marie-Paule Delplancke from 4MAT Department, ULB for their support with the powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, Ir Thomas Themelis for his support with COC chip design, Dr. Gert Desmet for the support with SEM analysis and Dr. Daria Ezerina for the support with UV/Vis spectroscopy.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022


  • ZIF-8
  • Direct in-situ synthesis
  • Sodium acetate
  • Copper ions
  • Continuous and pattern coating


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