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Precise Control of Molecular Self‐Diffusion in Isoreticular and Multivariate Metal‐Organic Frameworks


Understanding the factors that affect self-diffusion in isoreticular and multivariate (MTV) MOFs is key to their application in drug delivery, separations, and heterogeneous catalysis. Here, we measure the apparent self-diffusion of solvents saturated within the pores of large single crystals of MOF-5, IRMOF-3 (amino-functionalized MOF-5), and 17 MTV-MOF-5/IRMOF-3 materials at various mole fractions. We find that the apparent self-diffusion coefficient of N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) may be tuned linearly between the diffusion coefficients of MOF-5 and IRMOF-3 as a function of the linker mole fraction. We compare a series of solvents at saturation in MOF-5 and IRMOF-3 to elucidate the mechanism by which the linker amino groups tune molecular diffusion. The ratio of the self-diffusion coefficients for solvents in MOF-5 to those in IRMOF-3 is similar across all solvents tested, regardless of solvent polarity. We conclude that average pore aperture, not solvent-linker chemical interactions, is the primary factor responsible for the different diffusion dynamics upon introduction of an amino group to the linker.

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