Adsorption and molecular siting of CO2, water, and other gases in the superhydrophobic, flexible pores of FMOF-1 from experiment and simulation
FMOF-1 is a flexible, superhydrophobic metal–organic framework with a network of channels and side pockets decorated with –CF3 groups. CO2 adsorption isotherms measured between 278 and 313 K and up to 55 bar reveal a maximum uptake of ca. 6.16 mol kg−1 (11.0 mol L−1) and unusual isotherm shapes at the higher temperatures, suggesting framework expansion. We used neutron diffraction and molecular simulations to investigate the framework expansion behaviour and the accessibility of the small pockets to N2, O2, and CO2. Neutron diffraction in situ experiments on the crystalline powder show that CO2 molecules are favourably adsorbed at three distinct adsorption sites in the large channels of FMOF-1 and cannot access the small pockets in FMOF-1 at 290 K and oversaturated pressure at 61 bar. Stepped adsorption isotherms for N2 and O2 at 77 K can be explained by combining Monte Carlo simulations in several different crystal structures of FMOF-1 obtained from neutron and X-ray diffraction under different conditions. A similar analysis is successful for CO2 adsorption at 278 and 283 K up to ca. 30 bar; however, at 298 K and pressures above 30 bar, the results suggest even more substantial expansion of the FMOF-1 framework. The measured contact angle for water on an FMOF-1 pellet is 158°, demonstrating superhydrophobicity. Simulations and adsorption measurements also show that FMOF-1 is hydrophobic and water is not adsorbed in FMOF-1 at room temperature. Simulated mixture isotherms of CO2 in the presence of 80% relative humidity predict that water does not influence the CO2 adsorption in FMOF-1, suggesting that hydrophobic MOFs could hold promise for CO2 capture from humid gas streams.