A Focus on our PhD Students – Ken Ikigaki

I am a 3rd -year PhD student working under the supervision of Professor Masahide Takahashi and Dr. Kenji Okada at Osaka Prefecture University (Japan). I am grateful to the ISGS for awarding me the 2017 ISGS Best Poster Award and 7 th ISGS Summer School First ePoster Prize. During my PhD program, I am focusing on the fabrication and application of oriented thin films of metal-organic frameworks (MOF) and covalent organic frameworks (COF). The main advantage of our MOF/COF thin films is that the crystallographic orientations of MOF/COF can be controllable over the entire substrate (cm scale). To achieve this outcomes, Sol-Gel processing is a one of the key approaches used. For example, we have exploited nano-assemblies of Cu(OH) 2 as structure directing substrates, synthesized via Sol-Gel processing, for directing the growth of oriented MOF/COF films.


My research goal is to construct novel devices in the field of optoelectronics by using our oriented MOF/COF thin films. One of the most promising approaches currently being explored is oriented MOF-on-MOF systems. Recently, we reported the epitaxial growth of oriented MOF-on-MOF thin films where the orientation of the crystalline films was retained in all the MOF layers. This synthetic strategy makes it possible to produce complex and multiple functionalities that cannot be achieved in a single MOF layer. I usually explain our oriented MOF-onMOF systems by comparing them to the construction of a Japanese castle as shown in the cover art of our recent publication in Angewandte Chemie International Edition. I believe that the rational design of the materials and stacking layer structures will enable sophisticated MOF devices to be prepared, which will find application in highly integrated systems in the near future.