In situ micropillar compression of an anisotropic metal-organic framework single crystal

Z. Zeng; Y. Xiao; J. M. Wheeler; J.-C. Tan

Communications Chemistry 6 (2023) 63-63

Understanding of the complex mechanical behavior of metal-organic frameworks (MOF) beyond their elastic limit will allow the design of real-world applications in chemical engineering, optoelectronics, energy conversion apparatus, and sensing devices. Through in situ compression of micropillars, the uniaxial stress-strain curves of a copper paddlewheel MOF (HKUST-1) were determined along two unique crystallographic directions, namely the (100) and (111) facets. We show strongly anisotropic elastic response where the ratio of the Young’s moduli are E(111) ≈ 3.6 × E(100), followed by extensive plastic flows. Likewise, the yield strengths are considerably different, in which Y(111) ≈ 2 × Y(100) because of the underlying framework anisotropy. We measure the fracture toughness using micropillar splitting. While in situ tests revealed differential cracking behavior, the resultant toughness values of the two facets are comparable, yielding Kc ~ 0.5 MPa$$sqrt{{{{{{rm{m}}}}}}}$$. This work provides insights of porous framework ductility at the micron scale under compression and failure by bonds breakage.