Investigating the gas sorption mechanism in an rht -metal-organic framework through computational studies

Tony T. Pham, Katherine A. Forrest, Juergen Eckert, Peter A L Georgiev, Ashley L. Mullen, Ryan Luebke, Amy Cairns, Youssef Belmabkhout, Jarrod F. Eubank, Keith McLaughlin, Wiebke Lohstroh, Mohamed Eddaoudi, Brian Space

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38 Scopus citations


Grand canonical Monte Carlo (GCMC) simulations were performed to investigate CO2 and H2 sorption in an rht-metal-organic framework (MOF) that was synthesized with a ligand having a nitrogen-rich trigonal core through trisubstituted triazine groups and amine functional groups. This MOF was synthesized by two different groups, each reporting their own distinct gas sorption measurements and crystal structure. Electronic structure calculations demonstrated that the small differences in the atomic positions between each group's crystal structure resulted in different electrostatic parameters about the Cu2+ ions for the respective unit cells. Simulations of CO2 sorption were performed with and without many-body polarization effects and using our recently developed CO2 potentials, in addition to a well-known bulk CO2 model, in both crystallographic unit cells. Simulated CO2 sorption isotherms and calculated isosteric heats of adsorption, Qst, values were in excellent agreement with the results reported previously by Eddaoudi et al. for both structures using the polarizable CO2 potential. For both crystal structures, the initial site for CO2 sorption were the Cu 2+ ions that had the higher positive charge in the unit cell, although the identity of this electropositive Cu2+ ion was different in each case. Simulations of H2 sorption were performed with three different hydrogen potentials of increasing anisotropy in both crystal structures and the results, especially with the highest fidelity model, agreed well with Eddaoudi et al.'s experimental data. The preferred site of H 2 sorption at low loading was between two Cu2+ ions of neighboring paddlewheels. The calculation of the normalized hydrogen dipole distribution for the polarizable model in both crystal structures aided in the identification of four distinct sorption sites in the MOF, which is consistent to what was observed in the experimental inelastic neutron scattering (INS) spectra. Lastly, while the experimental results for the two groups are quantitatively different, the sorption mechanisms (for both crystal structures and sorbates) are broadly similar and not inconsistent with either set of experimental data; the theoretical sorption isotherms themselves resemble those by Eddaoudi et al. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-456
Number of pages18
JournalThe Journal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 27 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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