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J Am Chem Soc. 2014 Apr 30;136(17):6171-4. doi: 10.1021/ja500671h. Epub 2014 Apr 16.

Synergistic assembly of heavy metal clusters and luminescent organic bridging ligands in metal-organic frameworks for highly efficient X-ray scintillation.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago , 929 E 57th St, Chicago, Illinois 60637, United States.


We have designed two metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to efficiently convert X-ray to visible-light luminescence. The MOFs are constructed from M6(μ3-O)4(μ3-OH)4(carboxylate)12 (M = Hf or Zr) secondary building units (SBUs) and anthracene-based dicarboxylate bridging ligands. The high atomic number of Zr and Hf in the SBUs serves as effective X-ray antenna by absorbing X-ray photons and converting them to fast electrons through the photoelectric effect. The generated electrons then excite multiple anthracene-based emitters in the MOF through inelastic scattering, leading to efficient generation of detectable photons in the visible spectrum. The MOF materials thus serve as efficient X-ray scintillators via synergistic X-ray absorption by the metal-cluster SBUs and optical emission by the bridging ligands.

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