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Inorg Chem. 2010 Sep 6;49(17):8086-91. doi: 10.1021/ic1011549.

Evaluation of heterogeneous metal-organic framework organocatalysts prepared by postsynthetic modification.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093-0358, USA.


A metal-organic framework (MOF) containing 2-amino-1,4-benzenedicarboxylate (NH(2)-BDC) as a building block is shown to undergo chemical modification with a set of cyclic anhydrides. The modification of the aluminum-based MOF known as MIL-53(Al)-NH(2) (MIL = Material Institut Lavoisier) by these reagents is demonstrated by using a variety of methods, including NMR and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), and the structural integrity of the modified MOFs has been confirmed by thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) and powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD). Reaction with these cyclic anhydrides produces MOFs that display carboxylic acid functional groups within their pores. Furthermore, it is shown that maleic acid functionalized MIL-53(Al)-AMMal can act as a Brønsted acid catalyst and facilitate the methanolysis of several small epoxides. Experiments show that MIL-53(Al)-AMMal acts in a heterogeneous manner and is recyclable with consistent activity over at least three catalytic cycles. The findings presented here demonstrate several important features of covalent postsynthetic modification (PSM) on MOFs, including (1) facile introduction of catalytic functionality using simple organic reagents (e.g., anhydrides); (2) the ability to utilize and recycle organocatalytic MOFs; (3) control of catalytic activity through choice of functional group. The findings clearly illustrate that covalent postsynthetic modification represents a powerful means to access new MOF compounds that serve as organocatalytic materials.

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