Summary of the IUPAC Recommendations for Physical Adsorption Characterization

The IUPAC recommendations for measuring gas sorption isotherms and analyzing the data are summarized, including discussion on choosing an adsorptive, degassing, void volume determination, BET area and pore size distributions.


Gas physisorption is an important tool for the characterization of porous solids and fine powders. The initial IUPAC report on gas physisorption, published in 1985, was dedicated to the determination of surface area and porosity by physical adsorption measurements and was broadly accepted and referred to in the scientific community. These recommendations served as the basis for many ASTM and ISO standards. Since 1985, major advances have been made in porous materials characterization including the development of nanoporous materials with uniform, tailored pore structures such as M41S, SBA, KIT, and CMK, among others, the development of computer simulation and density functional theory (DFT) methods to study adsorption of fluids in pores, and the development of high resolution experimental protocols and other experimental advances.

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