Ultrafast selective transport of alkali metal ions in metal organic frameworks with subnanometer pores

Huacheng Zhang, Jue Hou, Yaoxin Hu, Peiyao Wang, Ranwen Ou, Lei Jiang, Jefferson Zhe Liu, Benny D. Freeman, Anita J. Hill, Huanting Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

109 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Porous membranes with ultrafast ion permeation and high ion selectivity are highly desirable for efficient mineral separation, water purification, and energy conversion, but it is still a huge challenge to efficiently separate monatomic ions of the same valence and similar sizes using synthetic membranes. We report metal organic framework (MOF) membranes, including ZIF-8 and UiO-66 membranes with uniform subnanometer pores consisting of angstrom-sized windows and nanometer-sized cavities for ultrafast selective transport of alkali metal ions. The angstrom-sized windows acted as ion selectivity filters for selection of alkali metal ions, whereas the nanometersized cavities functioned as ion conductive pores for ultrafast ion transport. The ZIF-8 and UiO-66 membranes showed a LiCl/RbCl selectivity of ∼4.6 and ∼1.8, respectively, which are much greater than the LiCl/RbCl selectivity of 0.6 to 0.8 measured in traditional porous membranes. Molecular dynamics simulations suggested that ultrafast and selective ion transport in ZIF-8 was associated with partial dehydration effects. This study reveals ultrafast and selective transport of monovalent ions in subnanometer MOF pores and opens up a new avenue to develop unique MOF platforms for efficient ion separations in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaaq0066
Number of pages8
JournalScience Advances
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

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