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Selective incarceration of caesium ions by Venus flytrap action of a flexible framework sulfide

Nature Chemistry volume 2, pages 187191 (2010) | Download Citation

Abstract

The selective capture of Cs+ from solution is relevant to the remediation of nuclear waste and remains a significant challenge. Here we describe a new framework composed of [(CH3)2NH2]+ and [Ga2Sb2S7]2− layers, which are perforated with holes. Shape selectivity couples with framework flexibility, allowing the compound to respond to the ion-exchange process. The size, shape and flexibility of the holes allow Cs+ ions in an aqueous solution to selectively pass through and enter the material via an ion-exchange process. Following capture, the structure dynamically closes its holes in a manner reminiscent of a Venus flytrap, which prevents the Cs+ ions from leaching out. This process has useful implications in the separation science of Cs as it relates to the clean-up of nuclear waste. The dynamic response we describe here provides important insights for designing new materials for the selective removal of difficult-to-capture ions.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by National Science Foundation (DMR-0801855). This work made use of the ICP-OES (supported by National Science Foundation) at the Integrated Molecular Structure Education and Research Center (IMSERC) at Northwestern University. 

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois 60208-3113, USA

    • Nan Ding
    •  & Mercouri G. Kanatzidis
  2. Materials Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Chicago, Illinois 60439, USA

    • Mercouri G. Kanatzidis

Authors

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Contributions

N.D. and M.G.K. conceived and designed the experiments, N.D. performed the experiments, N.D. and M.G.K. analysed the data and co-wrote the paper.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mercouri G. Kanatzidis.

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    Crystallographic data for compound II

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nchem.519

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