Molecular Dynamics Simulations on Gate Opening in ZIF-8: Identification of Factors for Ethane and Propane Separation

B Zheng and YC Pan and ZP Lai and KW Huang, LANGMUIR, 29, 8865-8872 (2013).

DOI: 10.1021/la401015m

Gate opening of zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) is an important microscopic phenomenon in explaining the adsorption, diffusion, and separation processes for large guest molecules. We present a force field, with input from density functional theory (DFT) calculations, for the molecular dynamics simulation on the gate opening in ZIF-8. The computed self-diffusivities for sorbed C1 to C3 hydrocarbons were in good agreement with the experimental values. The observed sharp diffusion separation from C2H6 to C3H8 was elucidated by investigating the conformations of the guest molecules integrated with the flexibility of the host framework.

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