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Chemistry of Materials








For the first time, a procedure has been established for the growth of surface-anchored metal–organic framework (SURMOF) copper(II) benzene-1,4-dicarboxylate (Cu-BDC) thin films of thickness control with single molecule accuracy. For this, we exploit the novel method solution atomic layer deposition (sALD). The sALD growth rate has been determined at 4.5 Å per cycle. The compact and dense SURMOF films grown at room temperature by sALD possess a vastly superior film thickness uniformity than those deposited by conventional solution-based techniques, such as dipping and spraying while featuring clear crystallinity from 100 nm thickness. The highly controlled layer-by-layer growth mechanism of sALD proves crucial to prevent unwanted side reactions such as Ostwald ripening or detrimental island growth, ensuring continuous Cu-BDC film coverage. This successful demonstration of sALD-grown compact continuous Cu-BDC SURMOF films is a paradigm change and provides a key advancement enabling a multitude of applications that require continuous and ultrathin coatings while maintaining tight film thickness specifications, which were previously unattainable with conventional solution-based growth methods.


Copyright © 2022 The Authors.

This is an open access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.

Data Availability

The Supporting Information is available free of charge at

Detailed description of the experimental methods and used materials; additional QCM measurements; scheme of the growth of Cu-BDC SURMOF by sALD sALD setup; ; and additional characterization data of Cu-BDC (PDF)

Original Publication Citation

Barr, M. K. S., Nadiri, S., Chen, D.-H., Weidler, P. G., Bochmann, S., Baumgart, H., Bachmann, J., & Redel, E. (2022). Solution atomic layer deposition of smooth, continuous, crystalline metal-organic framework thin films. Chemistry of Materials, 34(22), 9836-9843.


0000-0001-8272-2151 (Baumgart)