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Issue 7, 2012
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Thermodynamic analysis of Xe/Kr selectivity in over 137 000 hypothetical metal–organic frameworks

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Abstract

Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) are porous crystals with the potential to improve many industrial gas separation processes. Because there is a practically unlimited number of different MOFs, which vary in their pore geometry and chemical composition, it is challenging to find the best MOF for a given application. Here, we applied high-throughput computational methods to rapidly explore thousands of possible MOFs, given a library of starting materials, in the context of Xe/Kr separation. We generated over 137 000 structurally diverse hypothetical MOFs from a library of chemical building blocks and screened them for Xe/Kr separation. For each MOF, we calculated geometric properties via Delaunay tessellation and predicted thermodynamic Xe/Kr adsorption behavior via multicomponent grand canonical Monte Carlo simulations. Specifically, we calculated the pore limiting diameter, largest cavity diameter, accessible void volume, as well as xenon and krypton adsorption at 1.0, 5.0 and 10 bar at 273 K. From these data we show that MOFs with pores just large enough to fit a single xenon atom, and having morphologies resembling tubes of uniform width, are ideal for Xe/Kr separation. Finally, we compare our generated MOFs to several known structures (IRMOF-1, HKUST-1, ZIF-8, Pd-MOF, & MOF-505) and conclude that significantly improved materials remain to be synthesized. All crystal structure files are freely available for download and browsing in an online database.

Graphical abstract: Thermodynamic analysis of Xe/Kr selectivity in over 137 000 hypothetical metal–organic frameworks

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Dec 2011, accepted on 17 Apr 2012 and first published on 18 Apr 2012


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C2SC01097F
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2012,3, 2217-2223
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    Thermodynamic analysis of Xe/Kr selectivity in over 137 000 hypothetical metal–organic frameworks

    B. J. Sikora, C. E. Wilmer, M. L. Greenfield and R. Q. Snurr, Chem. Sci., 2012, 3, 2217
    DOI: 10.1039/C2SC01097F

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