Rob Ameloot

Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems (M²S)

Vapor deposition of crystalline porous solids





In the news

Rob Ameloot was awarded the ERC Proof of Concept grant LO-KMOF in which he will make use of the novel vapour phase deposition approach for metal-organic frameworks, developed in the ERC project VAPORE. If successful, the project will contribute to chips that are not only faster but also consume less power.

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About the project

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are crystalline solids with highly regular pores in the nanometer range. The possibility to create a tailored nano-environment inside the MOF pores makes these materials high-potential candidates for integration with microelectronics, e.g. as sensor coatings, solid electrolytes, etc. However, current solvent-based methods for MOF film deposition, a key enabling step in device integration, are incompatible with microelectronics fabrication because of contamination and corrosion issues.

VAPORE will open up the path to integrate MOFs in microelectronics by developing a solvent-free chemical vapor deposition (CVD) route for MOF films. MOF-CVD will be the first example of vapor-phase deposition of any type of microporous crystalline network solid and marks an important milestone in processing such materials. Development of the MOF-CVD technology platform will start from a proof-of-concept case and will be supported by the following pillars: (1) Insight in the process, (2) expansion of the materials scope and (3) fine-tuning process control. The potential of MOF-CVD coatings will be illustrated in proof-of-concept sensors.

In summary, by growing porous crystalline films from the vapor phase for the first time, VAPORE implements molecular self-assembly as a scalable tool to fabricate highly controlled nanopores. In doing so, the project will enable cross-fertilization between the worlds of nanoscale chemistry and microelectronics, two previously incompatible fields.

Main funding info

  • Programme Funding: Horizon 2020
  • Sub Programme Area: ERC-2016-STG
  • Project Reference: 715037
  • From  01.03.2017 to 28.02.2022
  • Budget: EUR 1 484 562
  • Contract type: ERC-STG

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This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement n° 715037).