Tuning the switching pressure in square lattice coordination networks by metal cation substitution

29 November 2021, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Coordination networks that undergo guest-induced switching between “closed” nonporous and “open” porous phases are of increasing interest as the resulting stepped sorption isotherms can offer exceptional working capacities for gas storage applications. For practical utility, the gate ad/desorption pressures (Pga/Pgd) must lie between the storage (Pst) and delivery (Pde) pressures and there must be fast switching kinetics. Herein we study the effect of metal cation substitution on the switching pressure of a family of square lattice coordination networks [M(4,4’-bipyridine)2(NCS)]n (sql-1-M-NCS, M = Fe, Co and Ni) with respect to CO2 sorption. The Clausius-Clapeyron equation was used to correlate Pga/Pgd and temperature. At 298 K, Pga/Pgd values were found to vary from 31.6/26.7 bar (M = Fe) to 26.7/20.9 bar (M = Co) and 18.5/14.6 bar (M = Ni). The switching event occurs within 10 minutes as verified by dynamic CO2 sorption tests. In addition, in situ synchrotron PXRD and molecular simulations provided structural insight into the observed switching event, which we attribute to layer expansion of sql-1-M-NCS via intercalation and inclusion of CO2 molecules. This study could pave the way for rational control over Pga/Pgd in switching adsorbent layered materials and enhance their potential utility in gas storage applications.


gas storage
switching kinetics
stepped sorption isotherms
metal-ion control
flexible metal-organic material
soft porous material

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information
Synchrotron PXRD patterns, water vapour sorption isotherms, TGA curves, CO2 desorption isotherms, Clausius-Clapeyron calculations, comparison with other switching CNs, etc.


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