College of Engineering


Materials Engineering Department

Degree Name

BS in Materials Engineering




Trevor Harding, Ajay Kathuria


Nanoporous, non-toxic, ɣ-cyclodextrin metal organic frameworks (𝛾-CDMOFs) have potential applications in fields such as drug delivery and organic compound storage. The properties of many methylxanthines (alkaloids such as caffeine and theophylline) could be improved through 𝛾-CDMOF encapsulation, yet little research has been performed on the subject. In this study, 𝛾-CDMOFs were synthesized in order to 1. Determine if the vapor diffusion synthesis method can produce 𝛾-CDMOF crystals that replicate those in literature and 2. Determine if 𝛾-CDMOFs are able to encapsulate methylxanthines. The 𝛾-CDMOFs were synthesized through vapor diffusion of methanol in a solution of ɣ-cyclodextrin and potassium hydroxide (KOH). The synthesized crystals were activated at 25 °C and 45 °C to remove the residual methanol and water, freeing the nanopores of the crystals. The synthesized and activated crystals were characterized through X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Caffeine and theophylline were encapsulated over 24 hours in the 𝛾-CDMOFs, which were then analyzed using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Characterization results aligned with literature confirming a uniform cubic structure of the crystals with sizes primarily ranging from 1 to 10μm, with a median crystallite size of 2 μm. It was determined that 1. Vapor diffusion is a viable synthesis method for 𝛾-CDMOFs and 2. 𝛾-CDMOFs are able to encapsulate theophylline, however the data was not conclusive enough to confirm the encapsulation of caffeine