NOV 01, 2018 01:00 PM PDT

Mid-air Chemistry Experiment Opens Up a New Era in Metal-organic Frameworks Research

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are molecules with network structures made of metal ion cores coordinated to organic ligands. Due to their high internal surface area, and tunable porosity, MOFs are often considered as an ideal material for energy storage, environmental monitoring and cleanup, drug delivery and carbon capture.

The size and morphology of MOFs, as dictated by the process of their crystallization, is crucial for basic science and the potential applications of this novel material. Gravity plays a vital role in crystallization. According to the research funded by NASA, the low gravity condition in space enhances the crystallization of protein drastically.

In a study, material scientists from Australia and Austria have shown that gravitational force (g) influences the morphology of MOFs crystals. To obtain high g conditions, they spun MOFs samples in a centrifuge; but to create a low g environment, three of the researchers dove from an airplane seconds before they initialized the crystallization process.  

Their findings verified that low g  (g<1) environment led to larger crystals, likely "due to facet‐oriented crystal fusion", while high g (g = 20) conditions produced smaller MOF crystals. On top of that, in the history of material science, the skydiving aided experiment was the first of its kind, which the group hoped to inspire others to do the same in studying MOF morphology.

Source: Seeker via Youtube

About the Author
  • With years of experience in biomedical R & D, Daniel is also very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles.
You May Also Like
NOV 14, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 14, 2019
Hydrogen, the Element of Our Energy Future? (Part II)
According to the International Energy Agency, the worldwide hydrogen market is expected to reach over $150 billion US dollar by the year 2022 under th...
NOV 14, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 14, 2019
How Long Will it Be Before We Start Mining Asteroids?
The idea of mining an asteroid probably sounds like something right out of a science fiction movie, but as it turns out, it’s something that we&rsquo...
NOV 14, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 14, 2019
Barn Owls Fly Without Making a Sound
When most birds take flight, their wingbeats cause a ruckus; this is typically a repetitive ‘swooshing’ noise generated by the rushing air that...
NOV 14, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 14, 2019
Artificial "Bug Eyes" Made of Nanoparticles and Liquid Marbles
The term compound eye refers to the unique visual organs that can be found in many insects (hence the nickname "bug eyes"), as well as certain sp...
NOV 14, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 14, 2019
Neutron Star Merger Fused Atomic Nuclei, Spilled Out Heavy Element
It is safe to say that we live in a world of hydrogen and helium, the lightest elements in the periodic table. Born minutes after the Big Bang, the two mak...
NOV 14, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 14, 2019
Scientists Bolstered Water-based Hydrogen Production with a 10-Dollar Magnet
Hydrogen is dubbed the clean energy of the future because its consumption leads to no carbon emission but only water. But things are not always what they s...
Loading Comments...