Catalytically Active Silicon Oxide Nanoclusters Stabilized in a Metal–Organic Framework

Martino Rimoldi, Leighanne C. Gallington, Karena W. Chapman, Keith MacRenaris, Joseph T. Hupp, Omar K. Farha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Post-synthetic modification of the zirconium-based metal–organic framework (MOF) NU-1000 by atomic layer deposition (ALD), using tetramethoxysilane (Si(OMe)4) as a precursor, led to the incorporation and stabilization of silicon oxide clusters composed of only a few silicon atoms in the framework's pores. The resulting SiOx functionalized material (Si-NU-1000) was found to be catalytically active despite the inactivity of related bulk silicon dioxide (SiO2), thus demonstrating the positive effects of having nanosized clusters of SiOx. Moreover, Si-NU-1000 showed activity greater than that found for aluminum oxide based catalysts—oxides known for their high acidity—such as an aluminum oxide functionalized MOF (Al-NU-1000) and bulk γ-Al2O3. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and infrared spectroscopy measurements unmasked the electron donating nature of Si-NU-1000, explaining the unusual electronic properties of the nanosized SiOx clusters and supporting their high catalytic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8532-8536
Number of pages5
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - Jun 22 2017


  • atomic layer deposition
  • gas flow catalysis
  • metal–organic frameworks
  • nanocluster
  • silicon oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Catalytically Active Silicon Oxide Nanoclusters Stabilized in a Metal–Organic Framework'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this