Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Talapatra, Saikat

Second Advisor

Migone, Aldo


Volumetric adsorption experiments were conducted over three sorbates in Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework – 8 (ZIF-8). The sorption isotherms were measured at low temperatures. The study included carbon monoxide sorption in ZIF-8, xenon in ZIF-8, and methane sorption in ZIF-8. As a metal-organic framework that has been investigated thoroughly for its remarkable characteristics, ZIF-8 interactions with the above three sorbates has revealed some new features. Each of these systems offered a unique opportunity to study the physical properties of the sorbate and ZIF-8 and the thermodynamic responses of the system for its unique characteristics. The fundamental understating of sorbents-sorbate not only reveals some of the remarkable properties but also opens up new frontiers for researches in practical applications such as gas storage separation and other sorption-based fields of interest. The investigation into CO-ZIF-8 system has confirmed some of the predictions made on a similar system and analysis on the ZIF-8 structure. The measured adsorption isotherms have confirmed the existence of three pre-saturation subs steps, which were explained in terms of effects from the structural transition and polarity of the sorbate. The behavior of isosteric heat of adsorption and the equilibration time revealed a strong connection between steps in the isotherm and the structural changes of ZIF-8 due to organic linker rotation and volume expansion, also known as “Gate-Opening” in some cases. In both Xe-ZIF-8 and CH4 -ZIF-8 systems, the sorption isotherms revealed two substeps before the saturation. This is the first time such a feature was resolved experimentally in these systems although many previous studies have predicted the feature. The experimental observations on characteristics of the Xe -ZIF-8 system are also verified by computer simulations. Unlike the CO-ZIF-8 system, Xe-ZIF-8 interactions do not trigger the organic linker rotation of ZIF-8 structure, but it influenced the expansion of the ZIF-8 structure. In CH4 – ZIF-8 system the isotherms’ substeps were not as steep as Xe system but the loading dependence of isosteric heat of adsorption and equilibration time revealed features that are similar to CO. The lack of sorption-combined structural analysis of CH4-ZIF-8 prevent us from concluding the actual nature of the changes occurring which are related to the substeps and other thermodynamic and kinetic features. In all three systems, our measurements of the adsorption kinetics, we observed a non-monotonic behavior of the equilibration time as a function of sorbent loading. For CO the loading dependence of equilibration time exhibit peaks at loadings that correspond to the intermediate and higher loading sub-steps, and CH4 showed similar behavior at the loading corresponds to its intermediate substep region. The sharp peaks can be interpreted as packing rearrangement of adsorbed phase molecule in both cases and for CO there may be some contributions from the linker flipping and structural transition. The structural effect of kinetics is yet to be confirmed by a structural analysis for the CH4 system.

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