Absorbate-induced piezochromism in a porous molecular crystal

Christopher H. Hendon, Kate E. Wittering, Teng Hao Chen, Watchareeya Kaveevivitchai, Ilya Popov, Keith T. Butler, Chick C. Wilson, Dyanne L. Cruickshank, Ognjen S. Miljanić, Aron Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Atmospherically stable porous frameworks and materials are interesting for heterogeneous solid-gas applications. One motivation is the direct and selective uptake of pollutant/hazardous gases, where the material produces a measurable response in the presence of the analyte. In this report, we present a combined experimental and theoretical rationalization for the piezochromic response of a robust and porous molecular crystal built from an extensively fluorinated trispyrazole. The electronic response of the material is directly determined by analyte uptake, which provokes a subtle lattice contraction and an observable bathochromic shift in the optical absorption onset. Selectivity for fluorinated absorbates is demonstrated, and toluene is also found to crystallize within the pore. Furthermore, we demonstrate the application of electronic structure calculations to predict a physicochemical response, providing the foundations for the design of electronically tunable porous solids with the chemical properties required for development of novel gas-uptake media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2149-2154
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - 11 Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.


  • Piezochromism
  • bathochromism
  • density functional theory
  • molecular crystal


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