In situ monitoring of metal-organic framework assembly
with MP-SPR

Application Note #112

polyelectrolyte measurement

"In Situ Monitoring of MOF Assembly"

SPR sensograms of both fixed angle experiment (time vs light intensity), and angular scan experiment (time vs angle).


Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) are crystalline supramolecular assemblies. MOFs have high potential for hydrogen storage, drug delivery, gas sensing, optics and catalysis.

A MOF composed of copper and benzenetricarboxylic acid was synthesized and characterized in situ using MP-SPR method. Here, SPR Navi™ was used to determine optical thickness of the material in air and in liquid (solvent).

The optical thickness of the MOF was found to increase nearly linearly, and the increment to approach a constant value when adding layers. The MP-SPR layer thickness was determined as 2.02 nm for each of the eight layers, while excluding first layer (1.7 nm), which can be attributed to the surface roughness. The resulting multilayer was measured in air and in ethanol. Change of complex refractive index is probably due to differences in the lattice structure in air and in liquid.

The experiment shows that MP-SPR is suited to measure materials with complex refractive indices and enables measurements in gas and in liquid environments.

Recommended instrument for this application:


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Further reading

  • You may be also interested in AN#153 about in situ deposited MOF thickness and refractive index and AN#146 about characterization of single sheet graphene in air.
  • Do you want to find out how to calculate thickness out of MP-SPR measurements? Click here.
  • Do you want to see MP-SPR instrument range? Click here.

  • Here are a few publications you can have a look at.


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