Barely Porous Organic Cages for Hydrogen Isotope Separation

Ming Liu, Linda Zhang, Marc A. Little, Venkat Kapil, Michele Ceriotti, Siyuan Yang, Lifeng Ding, Daniel L. Holden, Rafael Balderas-Xicohténcatl, Donglin He, Rob Clowes, Samantha Y. Chong, Gisela Schütz, Linjiang Chen, Michael Hirscher*, Andrew I. Cooper*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

210 Citations (Scopus)


The separation of hydrogen isotopes for applications such as nuclear fusion is a major challenge. Current technologies are energy intensive and inefficient. Nanoporous materials have the potential to separate hydrogen isotopes by kinetic quantum sieving, but high separation selectivity tends to correlate with low adsorption capacity, which can prohibit process scale-up. In this study, we use organic synthesis to modify the internal cavities of cage molecules to produce hybrid materials that are excellent quantum sieves. By combining small-pore and large-pore cages together in a single solid, we produce a material with optimal separation performance that combines an excellent deuterium/hydrogen selectivity (8.0) with a high deuterium uptake (4.7 millimoles per gram).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-620
Number of pages8
Issue number6465
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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