Porphyrins as Templates for Site-Selective Atomic Layer Deposition: Vapor Metalation and in Situ Monitoring of Island Growth

Jason R. Avila, Jonathan D. Emery, Michael J. Pellin, Alex B F Martinson, Omar K. Farha, Joseph T Hupp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Examinations of enzymatic catalysts suggest one key to efficient catalytic activity is discrete size metallo clusters. Mimicking enzymatic cluster systems is synthetically challenging because conventional solution methods are prone to aggregation or require capping of the cluster, thereby limiting its catalytic activity. We introduce site-selective atomic layer deposition (ALD) on porphyrins as an alternative approach to grow isolated metal oxide islands that are spatially separated. Surface-bound tetra-acid free base porphyrins (H2TCPP) may be metalated with Mn using conventional ALD precursor exposure to induce homogeneous hydroxide synthetic handles which acts as a nucleation point for subsequent ALD MnO island growth. Analytical fitting of in situ QCM mass uptake reveals island growth to be hemispherical with a convergence radius of 1.74 nm. This growth mode is confirmed with synchrotron grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS) measurements. Finally, we extend this approach to other ALD chemistries to demonstrate the generality of this route to discrete metallo island materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19853-19859
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - Aug 10 2016



  • atomic layer deposition
  • grazing incident small angle scattering
  • island nucleation
  • manganese oxide
  • porphyrin
  • quartz crystal microbalance
  • vapor metalation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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