Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.141, No.50, 19850-19858, 2019
Exploiting Dynamic Opening of Apertures in a Partially Fluorinated MOF for Enhancing H-2 Desorption Temperature and Isotope Separation
Deuterium has been recognized as an irreplaceable element in industrial and scientific research. However, hydrogen isotope separation still remains a huge challenge due to the identical physicochemical properties of the isotopes. In this paper, a partially fluorinated metal-organic framework (MOF) with copper, a so-called FMOFCu, was investigated to determine the separation efficiency and capacity of the framework for deuterium extraction from a hydrogen isotope mixture. The unique structure of this porous material consists of a trimodal pore system with large tubular cavities connected through a smaller cavity with bottleneck apertures with a size of 3.6 angstrom plus a third hidden cavity connected by an even smaller aperture of 2.5 angstrom. Depending on the temperature, these two apertures show a gate-opening effect and the cavities get successively accessible for hydrogen with increasing temperature. Thermal desorption spectroscopy (TDS) measurements indicate that the locally flexible MOF can separate D-2 from anisotope mixture efficiently, with a selectivity of 14 at 25 K and 4 at 77 K.