Faujasite (FAU) and zeolite A (LTA) are technologically important porous zeolites (aluminosilicates) because of their extensive use in petroleum cracking and water softening. Introducing organic units and transition metals into the backbone of these types of zeolite allows us to expand their pore structures, enhance their functionality and access new applications. The invention of metal-organic frameworks and zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) has provided materials based on simple zeolite structures where only one type of cage is present. However, so far, no metal-organic analogues based on FAU or LTA topologies exist owing to the difficulty imposed by the presence of two types of large cage (super- and beta-cages for FAU, alpha- and beta-cages for LTA). Here, we have identified a strategy to produce an LTA imidazolate framework in which both the link geometry and link-link interactions play a decisive structure-directing role. We describe the synthesis and crystal structures of three porous ZIFs that are expanded analogues of zeolite A; their cage walls are functionalized, and their metal ions can be changed without changing the underlying LTA topology. Hydrogen, methane, carbon dioxide and argon gas adsorption isotherms are reported and the selectivity of this material for carbon dioxide over methane is demonstrated.
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