College of Engineering
Materials Engineering Department
BS in Materials Engineering
Trevor Harding, Ajay Kathuria
Nanoporous materials have been extensively studied for applications such as drug delivery and organic compound storage. The nanoporous material of this study is a metal organic framework (MOF) which is a coordination of metal ions with organic binders. The structure created by this coordination can be used to absorb organic compounds, such as plant growth regulators, and subsequently release the organic compounds over a prolonged period to extend the storage life of foods. This study is examining the encapsulation efficiency of hexanal in γ-cyclodextrin metal organic frameworks (γ-CDMOFs) as a mechanism for potential active packaging applications. γ-CDMOFs were synthesized by vapor diffusing methanol into a solution of γ-CD and potassium hydroxide (KOH). After synthesis, the γ-CDMOFs were activated in a vacuum oven at 25°C and 50°C at 0.7 bar to remove residual methanol and water. Hexanal was encapsulated within the γ-CDMOFs over a period of 48 hours. The synthesized γ-CDMOFs were characterized both before and after the encapsulation of hexanal using x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). XRD characterization results matched literature values which confirmed uniform γ-CDMOF crystallinity and a successful synthesis. SEM images were used as an additional confirmation of the γ-CDMOF crystallinity which matched those of previous γ-CDMOF structures. TGA characterization results revealed an encapsulation efficiency of about 5%.