Beam-sensitive metal-organic framework structure determination by microcrystal electron diffraction

Fateme Banihashemi, Guanhong Bu, Amar Thaker, Dewight Williams, Jerry Y.S. Lin, Brent L. Nannenga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Analysis of metal-organic framework (MOF) structure by electron microscopy and electron diffraction offers an alternative to growing large single crystals for high-resolution X-ray diffraction. However, many MOFs are electron beam-sensitive, which can make structural analysis using high-resolution electron microscopy difficult. In this work we use the microcrystal electron diffraction (MicroED) method to collect high-resolution electron diffraction data from a model beam-sensitive MOF, ZIF-8. The diffraction data could be used to determine the structure of ZIF-8 to 0.87 Å from a single ZIF-8 nanocrystal, and this refined structure compares well with previously published structures of ZIF-8 determined by X-ray crystallography. This demonstrates that MicroED can be a valuable tool for the analysis of beam-sensitive MOF structures directly from nano and microcrystalline material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113048
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • CryoEM
  • Crystallography
  • Electron diffraction
  • Metal-organic framework
  • MicroED
  • Microcrystal electron diffraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation

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