Electrical Regulation of CO2Adsorption in the Metal-Organic Framework MIL-53

Kaifei Chen, Ranjeet Singh, Jining Guo, Yalou Guo, Ali Zavabeti, Qinfen Gu, Randall Q. Snurr, Paul A. Webley, Gang Kevin Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Active regulation of pore accessibility in microporous materials by external stimuli has aroused great attention in recent years. Here, we show the first experimental proof that guest adsorption in a dielectric microporous material can be regulated by a moderate external E-field below the gas breakdown voltage. CO2 adsorption capacity in MIL-53 (Al) was significantly reduced, whereas that of NH2-MIL-53 (Al) changed insignificantly under a direct current E-field gradient of 286 V/mm. Ab initio DFT calculations revealed that the E-field decreased the charge transfer between the CO2 molecule and the adsorption site in the MIL-53 framework, which resulted in reduced binding energy and consequently lowered CO2 adsorption capacity. This effect was only observed in the narrow pore state MIL-53 (Al) but not in its large pore configuration. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of regulating the adsorption of gas molecules in microporous materials using moderate E-fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • adsorption
  • carbon dioxide
  • charge transfer
  • electric field
  • metal-organic frameworks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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