Hydrothermal Synthesis of Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks-8 (ZIF-8) Crystals with Controllable Size and Morphology

  • Gabriella Lestari

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) is a new class of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with zeolite-like properties such as permanent porosity, uniform pore size, and exceptional thermal and chemical stability. Until recently, ZIF materials have been mostly synthesized by solvothermal method. In this thesis, further analysis to tune the size and morphology of ZIF-8 is done upon our group’s recent success in preparing ZIF-8 crystals in pure aqueous solutions. Compositional parameters (molar ratio of 2-methylimidazole/Zn2+, type of zinc salt reagents, reagent concentrations, addition of surfactants) as well as process parameters (temperature and time) were systematically investigated. Upon characterizations of as-synthesized samples by X-ray powder diffraction, thermal gravimetric analysis, N2 adsorption, and field-emission scanning electron microscope, the results show that the particle size and morphology of ZIF-8 crystals are extremely sensitive to the compotional parameters of reagent concentration and addition of surfactants. The particle size and morphology of hydrothermally synthesized ZIF-8 crystals can be finely tuned; with the size ranging from 90 nm to 4 μm and the shape from truncated cubic to rhombic dodecahedron.
Date of AwardMay 2012
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorZhiping Lai (Supervisor)


  • ZIF-8
  • Hydrothermal Synthesis
  • Metal-organic frameworks
  • Crystal size
  • Surfactants
  • Crystal morphology

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