Examples of artificially grown crystals


Growing beautiful crystals like these is one of the joys of doing chemistry. These perfect specimens take the shape of a truncated rhombic dodecahedron. They are from a class of materials known as metal-organic frameworks, and they spontaneously grow from zinc metal ions and organic ligands. Although imperceptible at this scale, X-ray crystallography shows us that they have a sponge-like structure with large pores and voids. In fact, the internal surface area of a gram of these crystals is equivalent to an entire football field! These materials are being investigated for their ability to store gases such as hydrogen for powering next-generation vehicles. These photos were taken with a conventional optical microscope.
[Contributed by Lujia Liu on 16 Dec 2013]          

Crystal details

Compound name muf-7a
Formula Zn4O(btb)4/3(bdc)1/2(bpdc)1/2
Dimensions 0.2 x 0.2 x 0.2 mm
Mass 0.003 mg
Colour transparent
Keywords inorg

Growth conditions

Technique Solvothermal synthesis
Temperature 358 K
Growth rate
Solvent N/A
Doping procedure N/A
Keywords sol


Application(s) Programmed-Pore Metal-Organic Frameworks; CO2 capture
Link(s) http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja4100244
Other remarks For detailed synthesis, characterization and applications of this crystal, please see the original paper and the supporting information provided. link: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja4100244

© The Contributor
Conditions of reuse: Creative Commons Attribution Licence