Highly CO2-Selective Organic Molecular Cages: What Determines the CO2 Selectivity

Yinghua Jin, Bret A. Voss, Athena Jin, Hai Long, Richard D. Noble, Wei Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Scopus Citations


A series of novel organic cage compounds 1-4 were successfully synthesized from readily available starting materials in one-pot in decent to excellent yields (46-90%) through a dynamic covalent chemistry approach (imine condensation reaction). Covalently cross-linked cage framework 14 was obtained through the cage-to-framework strategy via the Sonogashira coupling of cage 4 with the 1,4-diethynylbenzene linker molecule. Cage compounds 1-4 and framework 14 exhibited exceptional high ideal selectivity (36/1-138/1) in adsorption of CO2 over N2 under the standard temperature and pressure (STP, 20 °C, 1 bar). Gas adsorption studies indicate that the high selectivity is provided not only by the amino group density (mol/g), but also by the intrinsic pore size of the cage structure (distance between the top and bottom panels), which can be tuned by judiciously choosing building blocks of different size. The systematic studies on the structure-property relationship of this novel class of organic cages are reported herein for the first time; they provide critical knowledge on the rational design principle of these cage-based porous materials that have shown great potential in gas separation and carbon capture applications.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)6650-6658
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number17
StatePublished - 4 May 2011

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2C00-49783


  • cage synthesis
  • molecular cages
  • organic cage componds


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