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Rapid synthesis of magnetic microspheres and the development of new macro–micro hierarchically porous magnetic framework composites †

Woodliffe, John Luke, Molinar-Díaz, Jesús, Islam, Md Towhidul, Stevens, Lee A., Wadge, Matthew D., Rance, Graham A., Ferrari, Rebecca, Ahmed, Ifty, Laybourn, Andrea (2023) Rapid synthesis of magnetic microspheres and the development of new macro–micro hierarchically porous magnetic framework composites †. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 11 (27). pp. 14705-14719. ISSN 2050-7488. E-ISSN 2050-7496. (doi:10.1039/d3ta01927f) (KAR id:101644)


Magnetic framework composites (MFCs) are a highly interesting group of materials that contain both metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) and magnetic materials. Combining the unique benefits of MOFs (tuneable natures, high surface areas) with the advantages of magnetism (ease of separation and detection, release of guests by induction heating), MFCs have become an attractive area of research with many promising applications. This work describes the rapid, scalable synthesis of highly porous magnetic microspheres via a flame-spheroidisation method, producing spheres with particle and pore diameters of 206 ± 38 μm and 12.4 ± 13.4 μm, respectively, with a very high intraparticle porosity of 95%. The MFCs produced contained three main iron/calcium oxide crystal phases and showed strong magnetisation (Ms: 25 emu g−1) and induction heating capabilities (≈80 °C rise over 30 s at 120 W). The microspheres were subsequently surface functionalised with molecular and polymeric coatings (0.7–1.2 wt% loading) to provide a platform for the growth of MOFs HKUST-1 and SIFSIX-3-Cu (10–11 wt% loading, 36–61 wt% surface coverage), producing macro–micro hierarchically porous MFCs (pores > 1 μm and <10 nm). To the best of our knowledge, these are the first example of MFCs using a single-material porous magnetic scaffold. The adaptability of our synthetic approach to novel MFCs is applicable to a variety of different MOFs, providing a route to a wide range of possible MOF–microsphere combinations with diverse properties and subsequent applications.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1039/d3ta01927f
Additional information: For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.
Subjects: Q Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Chemistry and Forensics
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (
Science Foundation Ireland (
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2023 12:59 UTC
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2024 10:42 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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