In this contribution we analyse the influence of adsorption cycling, crystal size, and temperature on the switching behaviour of the flexible Zr-based metal-organic framework DUT-98. We observe a shift in the gate opening pressure upon cycling of adsorption experiments of micro meter-sized crystals and assign this to a fragmentation of the crystals. In a series of modulated syntheses we downsize the average crystal size of DUT-98 crystals from 120 µm to 50 nm and characterize the obtained solids by X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, as well as scanning and transmission electron microscopy. We analyse the adsorption behaviour by nitrogen and water adsorption at 77 K and 298 K, respectively and show that adsorption-induced flexibility is only observed for micro meter-sized crystals. Nanometer-sized crystals were found to exhibit reversible type I adsorption behaviour upon adsorption of nitrogen and exhibit a crystal-size dependent steep water uptake of up to 20 mmol g-1 at 0.5 p/p0 with potential for water harvesting and heat pump applications. We furthermore investigate the temperature-induced structural transition by in situ PXRD. At temperatures beyond 110 °C the open pore state of nano meter-sized DUT-98 crystals are found to irreversibly transform in a closed pore state. The connection of crystal fragmentation upon adsorption cycling and the crystal size-dependence of the adsorption-induced flexibility is an important finding for evaluation of these materials in future adsorption-based applications. This work thus extends the limited amount of studies on crystal size effects in flexible MOFs and hopefully motivates further investigations into this field.
Keywords: crystal engineering, flexible metal-organic frameworks, water adsorption, crystal size
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Krause, S.; Bon, V.; Du, H.; Dunin-Borkowski, R. E.; Stoeck, U.; Senkovska, I.; Kaskel, S. Beilstein Arch. 2019, 201952. doi:10.3762/bxiv.2019.52.v1
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