Intentional incorporation of defect sites functionalized with free carboxylic acid groups was achieved in a paddlewheel-based metal-organic framework (MOF) of rht topology, NU-125. Solvent-assisted linker exchange (SALE) performed on a mixed-linker derivative of NU-125 containing isophthalate (IPA) linkers (NU-125-IPA) led to the selective replacement of the IPA linkers in the framework with a conjugate base of trimesic acid (H3BTC). Only two of the three carboxylic acid moieties offered by H3BTC coordinate to the Cu2 centers in the MOF, yielding a rare example of a MOF decorated with free -COOH groups. The presence of the -COOH groups was confirmed by diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier-transformed spectroscopy (DRIFTS); moreover, these groups were found to be available for postsynthesis elaboration (selective monoester formation). This work constitutes an example of the use of SALE to obtain otherwise challenging-to-synthesize MOFs. The resulting MOF, in turn, can serve as a platform for accomplishing selective organic transformations, in this case, exclusive monoesterification of trimesic acid.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry