These are preliminary reports that have not been peer-reviewed. They should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or be reported in news media as established information. For more information, please see our FAQs.
Huang_Faraday Discussions_MS_200121.pdf (1.91 MB)

Can 3D Electron Diffraction Provide Accurate Atomic Structures of Metal-Organic Frameworks?

submitted on 22.01.2020, 15:09 and posted on 23.01.2020, 07:25 by Zhehao Huang, meng ge, Francesco Carraro, Christian Doonan, paolo falcaro, Xiaodong Zou
Many framework materials such as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) or porous coordination polymers (PCPs) are synthesized as polycrystalline powders, which are too small for structure determination by single crystal X-ray diffraction (SCXRD). Here, we show that a three-dimensional (3D) electron diffraction method, namely continuous rotation electron diffraction (cRED), can be used for ab initio structure determination of such materials. As an example, we present a complete structural analysis of a biocomposite, denoted BSA@ZIF-C, where Bovin Serum Albumin (BSA) was encapsulated in a zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF). Low electron dose was combined with ultrafast cRED data collection to minimize electron beam damage of the sample. We demonstrate that the atomic structure obtained by cRED is as reliable and accurate as that obtained by single crystal X-ray diffraction. The high accuracy and fast data collection open new opportunities for investigation of cooperative phenomena in framework structures at atomic level.


Swedish Research Council

Lead Project TU Graz

Horizon 2020 Programme


Email Address of Submitting Author


Stockholm University



ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

There are no conflicts to declare.