Storage of Methane and Freon by Interstitial van der Waals Confinement

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Science  28 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5577, pp. 2367-2369
DOI: 10.1126/science.1072252

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A known host-guest assembly, organized only by means of relatively weak dispersive forces, exhibits hitherto unappreciated thermal stability. The hexagonal close-packed arrangement of calix[4]arene contains lattice voids that can occlude small, highly volatile molecules. This host-guest system can be exploited to retain a range of freons, as well as methane, not only well above their normal boiling points, but also at relatively high temperatures and low pressures. The usually overlooked van der Waals interactions in organic crystals can indeed be used in a highly stable supramolecular system for gas storage.

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