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Copper Conversion into Cu(OH)2 Nanotubes for Positioning Cu3(BTC)2 MOF Crystals: Controlling the Growth on Flat Plates, 3D Architectures, and as Patterns

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Abstract

A new approach for the fabrication of homogeneous HKUST-1 [Cu3(BTC)2] coatings on copper metal plates, 3D objects, and as patterns, is here proposed. The conversion can be performed at room temperature in approximately 30 minutes using an aqueous ethanolic mixture. The two step conversion mechanism occurs via the formation of Cu(OH)2 nanotubes. Microscopic time-course monitoring reveals the conversion steps. The adhesion of the metal organic-framework (MOF) crystals, as well as the functional properties of the resulting supported catalyst, are successfully tested. The versatility of the conversion mechanism on different metal copper substrates is investigated as well; in particular, a photolithography protocol is proposed for the preparation of MOF patterns. This protocol offers several features (short processing time, applicability to any copper metal object, low cost of the equipment, room temperature conditions) that would make it favorable for basic research and industrial exploitation of MOF capabilities.

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