Selective Hydrogen Isotope Separation via Breathing Transition in MIL-53(Al)

Jin Yeong Kim, Linda Zhang, Rafael Balderas-Xicohténcatl, Jaewoo Park, Michael Hirscher, Hoi Ri Moon, Hyunchul Oh

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89 Scopus citations


Breathing of MIL-53(Al), a flexible metal-organic framework (MOF), leads to dynamic changes as narrow pore (np) transitions to large pore (lp). During the flexible and reversible transition, the pore apertures are continuously adjusted, thus providing the tremendous opportunity to separate mixtures of similar-sized and similar-shaped molecules that require precise pore tuning. Herein, for the first time, we report a strategy for effectively separating hydrogen isotopes through the dynamic pore change during the breathing of MIL-53(Al), a representative of flexible MOFs. The experiment shows that the selectivity for D2 over H2 is strongly related to the state of the pore structure of MIL-53(Al). The highest selectivity (SD2/H2 = 13.6 at 40 K) was obtained by optimizing the exposure temperature, pressure, and time to systematically tune the pore state of MIL-53(Al).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17743-17746
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number49
StatePublished - 13 Dec 2017


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