From molecular sieving to gas effusion through nanoporous 2D graphenes: Comparison between analytical predictions and molecular simulations

J Guo and G Galliero and R Vermorel, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 159, 084701 (2023).

DOI: 10.1063/5.0161980

In this paper, we study the permeation of polyatomic gas molecules through 2D graphene membranes. Using equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations, we investigate the permeation of pure gas compounds (CH4, CO2, O-2, N-2, and H-2) through nanoporous graphene membranes with varying pore sizes and geometries. Our simulations consider the recrossing mechanism, often neglected in previous studies, which has a significant effect on permeation for intermediate pore size to molecular diameter ratios. We find that the permeation process can be decoupled into two steps: the crossing process of gas molecules through the pore plane and the escaping process from the pore region to a neighboring adsorption site, which prevents recrossing. To account for these mechanisms, we use a permeance model expressed as the product of the permeance for the crossing process and the probability of molecule escape. This phenomenological model is extended to account for small polyatomic gas molecules and to describe permeation regimes ranging from molecular sieving to effusion. The proposed model captures the temperature dependence and provides insights into the key parameters of the gas/membrane interaction controlling the permeance of the system. This work lays the foundation for predicting gas permeance and exploring membrane separation factors in 2D materials such as graphene.

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