Atomic-level imaging of beam-sensitive COFs and MOFs by low-dose electron microscopy

Zhen Zhan, Yuxin Liu, Weizhen Wang, Guangyu Du, Songhua Cai, Peng Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Electron microscopy, an important technique that allows for the precise determination of structural information with high spatiotemporal resolution, has become indispensable in unravelling the complex relationships between material structure and properties ranging from mesoscale morphology to atomic arrangement. However, beam-sensitive materials, particularly those comprising organic components such as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and covalent organic frameworks (COFs), would suffer catastrophic damage from the high energy electrons, hindering the determination of atomic structures. A low-dose approach has arisen as a possible solution to this problem based on the integration of advancements in several aspects: electron optical system, detector, image processing, and specimen preservation. This article summarizes the transmission electron microscopy characterization of MOFs and COFs, including local structures, host-guest interactions, and interfaces at the atomic level. Revolutions in advanced direct electron detectors, algorithms in image acquisition and processing, and emerging methodology for high quality low-dose imaging are also reviewed. Finally, perspectives on the future development of electron microscopy methodology with the support of computer science are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)900-933
Number of pages34
JournalNanoscale Horizons
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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