Metal Organic Frameworks

Metal Organic Frameworks - a class of crystaline, porous coordination polymers

One of the research topics of the Institute of Physical Chemistry deals with a group of metal organic coordination compounds, called metal organic frameworks (MOFs). Since 1999, the year of the discovery of this class of materials, this field of research has constantly grown. Because of the bimodular constitution of inorganic secondary building units and organic linker molecules in addition to the permanent porosity and crystallinity, various application possibilities in catalysis, gas storage, sensing and separation of gaseous and liquid substances are conceivable.

The physico-chemical investigation of known and new strategies of MOF-synthesis, such as the solvothermal and the room temperature synthesis, called controlled SBU approach, is one of the problems in the actual research of our institute. In this content we investigate the mechanism of the MOF-5 and HKUST-1 forming in relation to the requirement provided in different fields of application. 

Next to the research activities in catalysis and conductive metal organic framework, the focus is on the gas chromatographic separation using different types of MOFs, like MOF-5, PPFs, HKUST-1, and MIL-101, as stationary phases. These investigations are performed within the priority program of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG, in the subproject “Liquid phase epitaxy (LPE) of functionalized SURMOFs for application in Gas Chromatography”. The deposition of different MOFs in fused silica capillaries with length of 10 to 30 m and inner diameter between 0.53 mm and 0.25 mm using various coating techniques was the first aim of our work in addition to the separation of nonpolar alkanes, polar Lewis-bases, aromatic and chiral compounds.

The investigation of the specific adsorption behavior of the chosen analytes using for example the infrared spectroscopy and the inverse gas chromatography is the second aim of the project. With the last called method different physico-chemical parameter, like diffusion coefficients, mass transport factors, and enthalpies and entropies of adsorptions, describing the adsorption process on the metal organic frameworks, are determined. 


selected publications:

concerning synthesis:

  • S. Hausdorf, F. Baitalow, J. Seidel, F. Mertens, “Gaseous Species as Reaction Tracers in the Solvothermal Synthesis of the Zinc Oxide Terephthalate MOF-5”, J. Phys. Chem. A 2007, 111(20), 4259-4266,
  • S. Hausdorf, F. Baitalow, T. Böhle, D. Rafaja, F. Mertens, “Main Group and Transition Element IRMOF Homologues”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 10978-10981,

concerning MOF-coating on surfaces:

  • A. S. Münch, M. S. Lohse, S. Hausdorf, G. Schreiber, D. Zacher, R. A. Fischer, F. Mertens, “Room Temperature Preparation Method for Thin MOF-5 Films on Metal and Fused Silica Surfaces Using the Controlled SBU Approach”, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials 2012, 159, 132-138,

concerning the application of MOFs in gas chromatography:

  • A. S. Münch, F. Mertens, “HKUST-1 as an open metal site gas chromatographic stationary phase - capillary preparation, separation of small hydrocarbons and electron donating compounds, determination of thermodynamic data”, J. Mater. Chem. 2012, 22, 10228-10234, 10.1039/C2JM15596F
  • A. S. Münch, J. Seidel, A. Obst, E. Weber, F. Mertens, “High Separation Performance of Chromatographic Capillaries Coated with MOF-5 by the Controlled SBU Approach”, Chem. Eur. J. 2011, 17(39), 10958-10964,

Florian Mertens, Prof.


Leipziger Str. 29, Room 210

+49 3731 39-3737
Florian [dot] Mertensatchemie [dot] tu-freiberg [dot] de