In recent years, fluorescent MOFs have been demonstrated as a promising strategy for constructing sensors. However, most of the research studies on fluorescent MOF sensors have focused on the design and synthesis of 3D MOF crystals of the order of micrometers and have not exerted the best detection performance of MOF structures. 2D MOF nanosheets have the potential to break the limitations of 3D MOFs in sensitivity, response speed etc, due to the ultra-thin morphology, larger specific surface area and more exposed active sites.
In a study published in Dalton Transactions, a team led by Prof. XU weihong from Institute of Solid State Physics, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (HFIPS), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), reported a comparative study about the detection performance of fluorescent two-dimensional (2D) metal-organic framework (MOF) nanosheets and three-dimensional (3D) bulky MOFs, highlighting the advantages of 2D.
In this work, fluorescent 2D NH2-MIL-53(Al) nanosheets were developed as a fluoride detection sensor. By comparing it with 3D bulk counterpart, they found it exhibited excellent fluorescence stability, and high selectivity towards fluoride in water through the fluorescence-enhanced sensing behavior.”
"The response speed of the nanosheets was as short as 10 seconds,” said Prof. Xu, a scientist of Physics, “limit of detection was as low as 15.2 ppb, and linear detection ranges from 5 to 250 μM towards fluoride, which was wider. All performances were better than those of their bulk counterpart.”
Besides, the sensing mechanism was investigated to be based on the transformation of the NH2-MIL-53(Al) framework that induced the release of fluorescent ligands, resulting in an exceptionally enhanced fluorescence.
This work reveals the advantages of 2D MOF nanosheets in fluorescence sensing applications.
This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (91622101), the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2016YFA0400901), the Special Foundation of President of Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, and the Opening Project of Key Laboratory of Environmental Optics and Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Figure 1. Graphical abstract (Image by LI Xixuan)
Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (http://english.hf.cas.cn/)