The recent decade has witnessed the booming development of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Unlike their conventional counterparts (e.g., silica, activated carbon, zeolite), MOFs have crystalline structures, uniform yet tunable pore size, and versatile chemical compositions suitable as adsorbent materials and membrane materials for storage and separation applications. In this talk, I will introduce our group’s recent studies on the application of flexible MOFs for gas storage and separation. We have synthesized a series of flexible and stable MIL-53(Al) type MOFs, whose breathing behavior under high pressure of CH4 can be controlled by systematic installation of hydrogen bonding sites into the frameworks. Such a control has been fine-tuned to induce high deliverable capacity of CH4 in MOFs by changing pressure, temperature, density, and even synthetic conditions. We have also fabricated ultrathin 2D MOF membranes using exfoliated MOF nanosheets. Because of the flexibility of the MOF nanosheets, those membranes exhibit responsive gas separation behaviors under the stimuli of temperature or pressure, paving the way for the rational design of smart membranes for H2 purification and CO2 capture.
Dan Zhao (National University of Singapore)