Realization of both high hydrogen selectivity and capacity in a guest responsive metal–organic framework Academic Article uri icon


  • Two newly designed semi-flexible tetratopic carboxylate ligands, 5′,5′′′′-(propane-2,2-diyl)bis(2′-methoxy- [1,1′:3′,1′′-terphenyl]-4,4′′-dicarboxylate) (pbtd-OMe4-) and 5′,5′′′′-(propane-2, 2-diyl)bis(2′-ethoxy-[1,1′:3′,1′′-terphenyl]-4, 4′′-dicarboxylate) (pbtd-OEt4-), have been used to connect dicopper paddlewheel building units to afford two isostructural metal-organic frameworks, Cu2(H2O)2(pbtd-OR) ·xS (R = Me, PCN-38·xS; R = Et, PCN-39·xS, S represents noncoordinated guest molecules, PCN = porous coordination network) with novel structure and gas sorption properties upon activation. PCN-39 undergoes structural transformations upon guest solvent removal, leading to observation of distinct phases from in situ powder X-ray diffraction measurements, and exhibits selective adsorption of H2 (up to 2.0 wt%) over CO, CO 2, and N2, which can be explained by optimized space-filling of the pendant ethoxy group. PCN-38 undergoes no transformation upon activation and exhibits hydrogen uptake up to 2.2 wt%, as well as moderate uptake of other gases. The selective adsorption of hydrogen over other gases highlights the potential application of PCN-39 in industrially important gas separation. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2013.

author list (cited authors)

  • Makal, T. A., Zhuang, W., & Zhou, H.

citation count

  • 8

publication date

  • January 2013