Computational and experimental elucidation of the boosted stability and antibacterial activity of ZIF-67 upon optimized encapsulation with polyoxometalates

Nageh Allam, The American University in Cairo (AUC)
Walaa A. Abbas, The American University in Cairo (AUC)
Ghada E. Khedr
Aya M. Mohamed, The American University in Cairo (AUC)


Water microbial purification is one of the hottest topics that threats human morbidity and mortality. It is indispensable to purify water using antimicrobial agents combined with several technologies and systems. Herein, we introduce a class of nanosized metal organic framework; Zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF-67) cages encapsulated with polyoxometalates synthesized via facile one-step co-precipitation method. We employed two types of polyoxometalates bioactive agents; phosphotungstic acid (PTA) and phosphomolybdic acid (PMA) that act as novel antibacterial purification agents. Several characterization techniques were utilized to investigate the morphological, structural, chemical, and physical properties such as FESEM, EDS, FTIR, XRD, and N2 adsorption/desorption isotherms techniques. The antibacterial assessment was evaluated using colony forming unit (CFU) against both Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus as models of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, respectively. The PTA@ZIF-67 showed higher microbial inhibition against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria by 98.8% and 84.6%, respectively. Furthermore, computational modeling using density functional theory was conducted to evaluate the antibacterial efficacy of PTA when compared to PMA. The computational and experimental findings demonstrate that the fabricated POM@ZIF-67 materials exhibited outstanding bactericidal effect against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and effectively purify contaminated water.