How Reproducible are Surface Areas Calculated from the BET Equation?

Johannes W.M. Osterrieth, James Rampersad, David Madden, Nakul Rampal, Luka Skoric, Bethany Connolly, Mark D. Allendorf, Vitalie Stavila, Jonathan L. Snider, Rob Ameloot, João Marreiros, Conchi Ania, Diana Azevedo, Enrique Vilarrasa-Garcia, Bianca F. Santos, Xian He Bu, Ze Chang, Hana Bunzen, Neil R. Champness, Sarah L. GriffinBanglin Chen, Rui Biao Lin, Benoit Coasne, Seth Cohen, Jessica C. Moreton, Yamil J. Colón, Linjiang Chen, Rob Clowes, François Xavier Coudert, Yong Cui, Bang Hou, Deanna M. D'Alessandro, Patrick W. Doheny, Mircea Dincă, Chenyue Sun, Christian Doonan, Michael Thomas Huxley, Jack D. Evans, Paolo Falcaro, Raffaele Ricco, Omar Farha, Karam B. Idrees, Timur Islamoglu, Pingyun Feng, Huajun Yang, Ross S. Forgan, Dominic Bara, Shuhei Furukawa, Eli Sanchez, Jorge Gascon, Selvedin Telalović, Sujit K. Ghosh, Soumya Mukherjee, Matthew R. Hill, Muhammed Munir Sadiq, Patricia Horcajada, Pablo Salcedo-Abraira, Katsumi Kaneko, Radovan Kukobat, Jeff Kenvin, Seda Keskin, Susumu Kitagawa, Ken ichi Otake, Ryan P. Lively, Stephen J.A. DeWitt, Phillip Llewellyn, Bettina V. Lotsch, Sebastian T. Emmerling, Alexander M. Pütz, Carlos Martí-Gastaldo, Natalia M. Padial, Javier García-Martínez, Noemi Linares, Daniel Maspoch, Jose A. Suárez del Pino, Peyman Moghadam, Rama Oktavian, Russel E. Morris, Paul S. Wheatley, Jorge Navarro, Camille Petit, David Danaci, Matthew J. Rosseinsky, Alexandros P. Katsoulidis, Martin Schröder, Xue Han, Sihai Yang, Christian Serre, Georges Mouchaham, David S. Sholl, Raghuram Thyagarajan, Daniel Siderius, Randall Q. Snurr, Rebecca B. Goncalves, Shane Telfer, Seok J. Lee, Valeska P. Ting, Jemma L. Rowlandson, Takashi Uemura, Tomoya Iiyuka, Monique A. van der Veen, Davide Rega, Veronique Van Speybroeck, Sven M.J. Rogge, Aran Lamaire, Krista S. Walton, Lukas W. Bingel, Stefan Wuttke, Jacopo Andreo, Omar Yaghi, Bing Zhang, Cafer T. Yavuz, Thien S. Nguyen, Felix Zamora, Carmen Montoro, Hongcai Zhou, Angelo Kirchon, David Fairen-Jimenez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)


Porosity and surface area analysis play a prominent role in modern materials science. At the heart of this sits the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) theory, which has been a remarkably successful contribution to the field of materials science. The BET method was developed in the 1930s for open surfaces but is now the most widely used metric for the estimation of surface areas of micro- and mesoporous materials. Despite its widespread use, the calculation of BET surface areas causes a spread in reported areas, resulting in reproducibility problems in both academia and industry. To prove this, for this analysis, 18 already-measured raw adsorption isotherms were provided to sixty-one labs, who were asked to calculate the corresponding BET areas. This round-robin exercise resulted in a wide range of values. Here, the reproducibility of BET area determination from identical isotherms is demonstrated to be a largely ignored issue, raising critical concerns over the reliability of reported BET areas. To solve this major issue, a new computational approach to accurately and systematically determine the BET area of nanoporous materials is developed. The software, called “BET surface identification” (BETSI), expands on the well-known Rouquerol criteria and makes an unambiguous BET area assignment possible.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2201502
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes


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