Zeolitic imidazolate framework membranes made by ligand-induced permselectivation

Xiaoli Ma, Prashant Kumar, Nitish Mittal, Alexandra Khlyustova, Prodromos Daoutidis, Andre Mkhoyan, Michael Tsapatsis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

282 Scopus citations


Zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF) membranes are emerging as a promising energy-efficient separation technology. However, their reliable and scalable manufacturing remains a challenge. We demonstrate the fabrication of ZIF nanocomposite membranes by means of an all-vapor-phase processing method based on atomic layer deposition (ALD) of ZnO in a porous support followed by ligand-vapor treatment. After ALD, the obtained nanocomposite exhibits low flux and is not selective, whereas after ligand-vapor (2-methylimidazole) treatment, it is partially transformed to ZIF and shows stable performance with high mixture separation factor for propylene over propane (an energy-intensive high-volume separation) and high propylene flux. Membrane synthesis through ligand-induced permselectivation of a nonselective and impermeable deposit is shown to be simple and highly reproducible and holds promise for scalability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1008-1011
Number of pages4
Issue number6406
StatePublished - Sep 7 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge R. Agrawal and his group (Purdue University) for a valuable discussion. This work was supported by the Center for Gas Separations Relevant to Clean Energy Technologies, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences under award DE-SC0001015. Parts of this work were carried out in the Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Nano Center, which receive partial support from the National Science Foundation through the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure programs, respectively. SEM measurements were partially performed on a Hitachi 8230 provided by NSF MRI DMR-1229263.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors.

MRSEC Support

  • Shared

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.


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