Complex Adsorption of Short Linear Alkanes in the Flexible Metal-Organic-Framework MIL-53(Fe)

This investigation is based on a combination of experimental tools completed by a computational approach to deeply characterize the unusual adsorption behavior of the flexible MIL-53(Fe) in the presence of short linear alkanes. In contrast to the aluminum or chromium analogues we previously reported, the iron MIL-53 solid, which initially exhibits a closed structure in the dry state, shows more complex adsorption isotherms with multisteps occurring at pressures that depend on the nature of the alkane. This behavior has been attributed to the existence of four discrete pore openings during the whole adsorption process. Molecular simulations coupled with in situ X-ray powder diffraction were able to uncover these various structural states.