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A spin transition mechanism for cooperative adsorption in metal–organic frameworks

Cooperative binding, whereby an initial binding event facilitates the uptake of additional substrate molecules, is common in biological systems such as haemoglobin. It was recently shown that porous solids that exhibit cooperative binding have substantial energetic benefits over traditional adsorbents, but few guidelines currently exist for the design of such materials. In principle, metal–organic frameworks that contain coordinatively unsaturated metal centres could act as both selective and cooperative adsorbents if guest binding at one site were to trigger an electronic transformation that subsequently altered the binding properties at neighbouring metal sites.
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