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Understanding the effect of gas molecules on the framework structures upon gas sorption in porous materials is highly desirable for the development of gas storage and separation technologies. However, this remains challenging for flexible metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) which feature “gate-opening/gate-closing” or “breathing” sorption behaviors under external stimuli. Herein, we report such a flexible Cd-MOF that exhibits “gating effect” upon CO2 sorption. The ability of the desolvated flexible Cd-MOF to retain crystal singularity under high pressure enables the direct visualization of the reversible closed-/open-pore states before and after the structural transformation as induced by CO2 adsorption/desorption through in situ single-crystal X-ray diffraction experiments. The binding sites of CO2 molecules within the flexible MOF under high pressure and room temperature have also been identified via combined in situ single-crystal X-ray diffraction and powder X-ray diffraction studies, facilitating the elucidation of the states observed during gate-opening/gate-closing behaviors. Our work therefore lays a foundation to understand the high-pressure gas sorption within flexible MOFs at ambient temperature, which will help to improve the design efforts of new flexible MOFs for applications in responsive gas sorption and separation.

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ACS Central Science, v. 4, issue 9, p. 1194-1200

This is an open access article published under an ACS AuthorChoice License, which permits copying and redistribution of the article or any adaptations for non-commercial purposes. (11261 kB)
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