Precise Modulation of CO2 Sorption in Ti8Ce2-Oxo Clusters: Elucidating Lewis Acidity of the Ce Metal Sites and Structural Flexibility

Xingjie Wang*, Haomiao Xie, Debabrata Sengupta, Fanrui Sha, Ken Ichi Otake, Yongwei Chen, Karam B. Idrees, Kent O. Kirlikovali, Florencia A. Son, Meng Wang, Junli Ren, Justin M. Notestein, Susumu Kitagawa*, Omar K. Farha*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Investigating the structure-property correlation in porous materials is a fundamental and consistent focus in various scientific domains, especially within sorption research. Metal oxide clusters with capping ligands, characterized by intrinsic cavities formed through specific solid-state packing, demonstrate significant potential as versatile platforms for sorption investigations due to their precisely tunable atomic structures and inherent long-range order. This study presents a series of Ti8Ce2-oxo clusters with subtle variations in coordinated linkers and explores their sorption behavior. Notably, Ti8Ce2-BA (BA denotes benzoic acid) manifests a distinctive two-step profile during the CO2 adsorption, accompanied by a hysteresis loop. This observation marks a new instance within the metal oxide cluster field. Of intrigue, the presence of unsaturated Ce(IV) sites was found to be correlated with the stepped sorption property. Moreover, the introduction of an electrophilic fluorine atom, positioned ortho or para to the benzoic acid, facilitated precise control over gate pressure and stepped sorption quantities. Advanced in situ techniques systematically unraveled the underlying mechanism behind this unique sorption behavior. The findings elucidate that robust Lewis base-acid interactions are established between the CO2 molecules and Ce ions, consequently altering the conformation of coordinated linkers. Conversely, the F atoms primarily contribute to gate pressure variation by influencing the Lewis acidity of the Ce sites. This research advances the understanding in fabricating metal-oxo clusters with structural flexibility and provides profound insights into their host-guest interaction motifs. These insights hold substantial promise across diverse fields and offer valuable guidance for future adsorbent designs grounded in fundamental theories of structure-property relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15130-15142
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number22
StatePublished - Jun 5 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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