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Influence of Metal Identity on Light-Induced Switchable Adsorption in Azobenzene-Based Metal–Organic Frameworks...

Publication Type
Journal Name
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Publication Date
Page Numbers
11192 to 11199

Energy-efficient capture and release of small gas molecules, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), are of significant interest in academia and industry. Porous materials such as metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) have been extensively studied, as their ultrahigh porosities and tunability enable significant amounts of gas to be adsorbed while also allowing specific applications to be targeted. However, because of the microporous nature of MOFs, the gas adsorption performance is dominated by high uptake capacity at low pressures, limiting their application. Hence, methods involving stimuli-responsive materials, particularly light-induced switchable adsorption (LISA), offer a unique alternative to thermal methods. Here, we report the mechanism of a well-known LISA system, the azobenzene-based material PCN-250, for CO2 and CH4 adsorption. There is a noticeable difference in the LISA effect dependent on the metal cluster involved, with the most significant being PCN-250-Al, where the adsorption can change by 83.1% CH4 and 56.1% CO2 at 298 K and 1 bar and inducing volumetric storage changes of 36.2 and 33.9 cm3/cm3 at 298 K between 5 and 85 bar (CH4) and 2 and 9 bar (CO2), respectively. Using UV light in both single-crystal X-ray diffraction and gas adsorption testing, we show that upon photoirradiation, the framework undergoes a “localized heating” phenomenon comparable to an increase of 130 K for PCN-250-Fe and improves the working capacity. This process functions because of the constrained nature of the ligand, preventing the typical trans-to-cis isomerization observed in free azobenzene. In addition, we observed that the degree of localized heating is highly dependent on the metal cluster involved, with the series of isostructural PCN-250 systems showing variable performance based upon the degree of interaction between the ligand and the metal center.