Metal-organic framework materials

This course is part of the programme
Materials (Third Level)

Objectives and competences

The main objective of the course is to provide students the theoretical and practical knowledge (know-how) in the field of metal-organic framework materials, necessary for successful independent preparation, basic characterization and assessment of their potential use for environmental and energy applications.
Students acquire the necessary competences for the preparation and implementation of the experiment in the synthesis laboratory (synthesis of the material), the correct choice of characterization methods of the prepared materials, and for quantitative analysis of the measurements and interpretation of the results.




• Classification of metal-organic framework materials (MOFs) (topology and chemical composition)
• Synthesis methods of MOFs
• The properties of MOFs (crystallinity, porosity, chemical and thermal stability)
• Methods for structure characterization of MOFs (XRD, SEM/EDX, porosity, thermal analysis, etc.)
• Design and use of MOFs for capture, separation and storage of gases
• Design and use of MOFs for heat storage
• Design and use of MOFs for use in catalysis
• Other uses of MOFs (sensors, (semi)conductors, drug-delivery systems, etc.)

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
The students learn about the basic characteristics of metal-organic framework materials (types/classification, fields of application/gas storage and separation, catalysis, etc.). They learn about the methods of MOF synthesis and their basic and advanced characterization. During practical projects, students learn about the preparation of MOFs in the synthesis laboratory and the use of the results of the basic characterization methods of materials (XRD, SEM/EDX, adsorption measurements). On the example from the research practice they acquire the necessary knowledge and competences for independent synthesis and post-synthetic modification of the MOFs and for interpretation of the results of their basic structural characterization (XRD, SEM/EDX, nitrogen physisorption), including the most common mistakes in the preparation and interpretation of the results. They learn how to choose the right combination of characterization methods in analyzing the specific properties of MOFs.
Within the preparation and presentation of project work, they are introduced to the most recent areas of application of MOFs.


  1. MacGillivray, L.R., Metal-organic frameworks : design and application, Hoboken : John Wiley & Sons, cop. 2010, ISBN 978-0-470-19556-7.
  2. Furukawa, H., Cordova, K. E., O’Keeffe, M. & Yaghi, O. M. The chemistry and applications of metal-organic frameworks. Science 341, 1230444 (2013).
  3. Helal, A., Al-Maythalony, B.A., Yamani, Z.H., Cordova, K.E., Yaghi, O.M., The chemistry of metal–organic frameworks for CO2 capture, regeneration and conversion. Nature Reviews Materials 2, 17045 (2017).
  4. Mazaj, M., Kaučič, V., Zabukovec Logar, N., Chemistry of metal-organic frameworks monitored by advanced X-ray diffraction and scattering techniques. Acta chimica slovenica, 63, 440-458 (2016).


During the course students prepare (1) individual project on synthesis and characterisation of selected metal-organic framework material from research practice, and (2) an individual project on application of MOFs. All projects are prepared in a written form and defended orally in an open discussion with professor and students. 50/50

Lecturer's references

Nataša Zabukovec Logar is a Head of the Department of Inorganic Chemistry and Technology at the National Institute of Chemistry in Ljubljana and Full Professor of Chemistry at the University of Nova Gorica.
She obtained her PhD from the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology at University of Ljubljana in 1998. In 1995 and 1996 she was a visiting student at the Department of Structural Chemistry at the University of Manchester, UK and in 2014, a visiting researcher at the Center for applied energy research in Munich, Germany. Between 2010 and 2014 he was also a head of a research and development group "Materials for hydrogen storage" in the Center of Excellence for Low-Carbon Technologies. Prof. Zabukovec Logar has more than 20 years of experience in the research and project managing in the field of synthesis and characterisation of porous solids for energy and environmental applications. Her research emphases are development of new inorganic and metal-organic porous materials for gas and heat storage, study of sorption mechanisms of metals on natural and synthetic zeolites for their use in wastewater and drinking water treatment and study of mechanisms of crystallization and crystal structure studies of new porous materials. She is a founding member and a president of the Slovenian Zeolite Association, a treasurer of European Federation of Zeolite Associations and a member of the Synthesis Commission of the International Zeolite Association. Furthermore, she is a member of Scientific Committee of EuroMOF Conference Series.

  1. BIRSA ČELIČ, Tadeja, RANGUS, Mojca, LAZAR, Karoly, KAUČIČ, Venčeslav, ZABUKOVEC LOGAR, Nataša. Spectroscopic evidence for the structure directing role of the solvent in the synthesis of two iron carboxylates. Angewandte Chemie : International edition, ISSN 1433-7851. [Print ed.], 2012, vol. 51, iss. 50, str. 12490-12494, ilustr., doi: 10.1002/anie.201204573. )
  2. KRAJNC, Andraž, KOS, Tomaž, ZABUKOVEC LOGAR, Nataša, MALI, Gregor. A simple NMR-based method for studying the spatial distribution of linkers within mixed-linker metal-organic frameworks. Angewandte Chemie : International edition, ISSN 1433-7851. [Print ed.], Sep. 2015, vol. 54, iss. 36, str. 10535-10538., doi: 10.1002/anie.201504426.
  3. MAZAJ, Matjaž, ZABUKOVEC LOGAR, Nataša, ŽAGAR, Ema, KOVAČIČ, Sebastijan. A facile strategy towards highly accessible and hydrostable MOF-phase within the hybrid polyHIPEs through in-situ metal-oxide recrystallization. Journal of materials chemistry. A, Materials for energy and sustainability, ISSN 2050-7488. [Print ed.], Feb. 2017, vol. 5, iss. 5, str. 1967-1971, ilustr., doi: 10.1039/C6TA10886E.
  4. MAZAJ, Matjaž, MALI, Gregor, RANGUS, Mojca, ŽUNKOVIČ, Emanuela, KAUČIČ, Venčeslav, ZABUKOVEC LOGAR, Nataša. Spectroscopic studies of structural dynamics induced by heating and hydration : a case of calcium-terephthalate metal-organic framework. The journal of physical chemistry. C, Nanomaterials and interfaces, ISSN 1932-7447, 2013, vol. 117, issue 15, str. 7552-7564, doi: 10.1021/jp311529e.
  5. MAZAJ, Matjaž, BIRSA ČELIČ, Tadeja, MALI, Gregor, RANGUS, Mojca, KAUČIČ, Venčeslav, ZABUKOVEC LOGAR, Nataša. Control of the crystallization process and structure dimensionality of Mg-benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxylates by tuning solvent composition. Crystal growth & design, ISSN 1528-7483, 2013, vol. 13, iss. 8, str. 3825-3834., doi: 10.1021/cg400929z.