Metal-organic framework nanosheets as building blocks for molecular sieving membranes

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Science  12 Dec 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6215, pp. 1356-1359
DOI: 10.1126/science.1254227

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Layered metal-organic frameworks would be a diverse source of crystalline sheets with nanometer thickness for molecular sieving if they could be exfoliated, but there is a challenge in retaining the morphological and structural integrity. We report the preparation of 1-nanometer-thick sheets with large lateral area and high crystallinity from layered MOFs. They are used as building blocks for ultrathin molecular sieve membranes, which achieve hydrogen gas (H2) permeance of up to several thousand gas permeation units (GPUs) with H2/CO2 selectivity greater than 200. We found an unusual proportional relationship between H2 permeance and H2 selectivity for the membranes, and achieved a simultaneous increase in both permeance and selectivity by suppressing lamellar stacking of the nanosheets.

Metal-organic framework material membranes

There continues to be a lot of interest in developing membranes for gas separations that go beyond the current polymer membranes used commercially for this purpose. Peng et al. took a porous metal-organic framework material with a layered structure and exfoliated it to give nanometer-thick molecular sieves. The membranes were exceptionally good at separating hydrogen gas from carbon dioxide both in terms of permeance and selectivity.

Science, this issue p. 1356

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