Crystal-Size-Dependent Structural Transitions in Nanoporous Crystals: Adsorption-Induced Transitions in ZIF-8

Chen Zhang, Jason A. Gee, David S. Sholl, Ryan P. Lively

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


© 2014 American Chemical Society. Understanding the crystal-size dependence of both guest adsorption and structural transitions of nanoporous solids is crucial to the development of these materials. We find that nano-sized metal-organic framework (MOF) crystals have significantly different guest adsorption properties compared to the bulk material. A new methodology is developed to simulate the adsorption and transition behavior of entire MOF nanoparticles. Our simulations predict that the transition pressure significantly increases with decreasing particle size, in agreement with crystal-size-dependent experimental measurements of the N2-ZIF-8 system. We also propose a simple core-shell model to examine this effect on length scales that are inaccessible to simulations and again find good agreement with experiments. This study is the first to examine particle size effects on structural transitions in ZIFs and provides a thermodynamic framework for understanding the underlying mechanism.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20727-20733
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number35
StatePublished - Aug 21 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-I1-011-21
Acknowledgements: The authors thank Dr. Ke Zhang and Dr. Megan Lydon for PXRD measurements and TEM imaging. C.Z. acknowledges support provided by Award No. KUS-I1-011-21, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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