Flexible ZIFs: probing guest-induced flexibility with CO2, N2 and Ar adsorption

Antonio Noguera-Díaz*, Jhonny Villarroel-Rocha, Valeska P. Ting, Nuno Bimbo, Karim Sapag, Timothy J. Mays

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
307 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The effect of framework topology on the guest-induced flexibility of several crystalline zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIF-7, ZIF-9, ZIF-11 and ZIF-12) was investigated via analysis of experimental N2, CO2 and Ar isotherms at 77 K (N2 and Ar) and 273 K (CO2) for gas pressures up to 0.13 MPa.

The experimental isotherms were analysed in order to investigate structural flexibility of these materials using gases with kinetic diameters equal to or larger than the diameters of their static pore apertures. The results of gas sorption measurements indicate guest-induced phase changes for ZIF-7 and ZIF-9 (SOD topologies). ZIF-12 (RHO topology) also shows uptake for gases, despite its pore limiting diameter being smaller than the kinetic diameters of the adsorbed molecules.
Conclusions: This work highlights the ability of ZIFs with different framework topologies to change their structure and increase their pore aperture upon interaction with certain gases. These findings are key in the development of more selective ZIFbased materials for important industrial applications including low-energy gas separations, catalytic nanoreactors and sensor technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3787-3792
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Issue number12
Early online date4 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • gas adsorption
  • nanomaterials
  • breathing structure
  • flexibility
  • ZIF
  • MOF

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