Fast Dynamic Synthesis of MIL-68(In) Thin Films in High Optical Quality for Optical Cavity Sensing

  • chair:

    Monjezi, B. H. / Okur, S. / Limbach, R. / Chandresh, A. / Sen, K. / Hashem, T. / Schwotzer, M. / Wondraczek, L. / Wöll, C. / Knebel, A. (2023)

  • place:

    ACS Nano 2023, 17, 6, 6121–6130,

  • Date: März 2023
  • Abstract

    Fabrication of metal–organic framework (MOF) thin films rigidly anchored on suitable substrates is a crucial prerequisite for the integration of these porous hybrid materials into electronic and optical devices. Thus, far, the structural variety for MOF thin films available through layer-by-layer deposition was limited, as the preparation of those surface-anchored metal–organic frameworks (SURMOFs) has several requirements: mild conditions, low temperatures, day-long reaction times, and nonaggressive solvents. We herein present a fast method for the preparation of the MIL SURMOF on Au-surfaces under rather harsh conditions: Using a dynamic layer-by-layer synthesis for MIL-68(In), thin films of adjustable thickness between 50 and 2000 nm could be deposited within only 60 min. The MIL-68(In) thin film growth was monitored in situ using a quartz crystal microbalance. In-plane X-ray diffraction revealed oriented MIL-68(In) growth with the pore-channels of this interesting MOF aligned parallel to the support. Scanning electron microscopy data demonstrated an extraordinarily low roughness of the MIL-68(In) thin films. Mechanical properties and lateral homogeneity of the layer were probed through nanoindentation. These thin films showed extremely high optical quality. By applying a poly(methyl methacrylate) layer and further depositing an Au-mirror to the top, a MOF optical cavity was fabricated that can be used as a Fabry–Perot interferometer. The MIL-68(In)-based cavity showed a series of sharp resonances in the ultraviolet–visible regime. Changes in the refractive index of MIL-68(In) caused by exposure to volatile compounds led to pronounced position shifts of the resonances. Thus, these cavities are well suited to be used as optical read-out sensors.