While linkers with various conformations pose challenges in the design and prediction of metal-organic framework (MOF) structures, they ultimately provide great opportunities for the discovery of novel structures thereby enriching structural diversity. Tetratopic carboxylate linkers, for example, have been widely used in the formation of Zr-based MOFs due to the ability to target diverse topologies, providing a promising platform to explore their mechanisms of formation. However, it remains a challenge to control the resulting structures when considering the complex assembly of linkers with unpredicted conformations and diverse Zr6 node connectivities. Herein, we systematically explore how solvents and modulators employed during synthesis influence the resulting topologies of Zr-MOFs, choosing H4TCPB-Br2 (1,4-dibromo-2,3,5,6-tetrakis(4-carboxyphenyl)benzene) as a representative tetratopic carboxylate linker. By modulating the reaction conditions, the conformations of the linker and the connectivities of the Zr6 node can be simultaneously tuned, resulting in four types of structures: a new topology (NU-500), she (NU-600), scu (NU-906), and csq (NU-1008). Importantly, we have synthesized the first 5-connected Zr6 node to date with the (4,4,4,5)-connected framework, NU-500. We subsequently performed detailed structural analyses to uncover the relationship between the structures and topologies of these MOFs and demonstrated the crucial role that the flexible linker played to access varied structures by different degrees of linker deformation. Due to a variety of pore structures ranging from micropores to hierarchical micropores and mesopores, the resulting MOFs show drastically different behaviors for the adsorption of n-hexane and dynamic adsorption of 2-chloroethyl ethyl sulfide (CEES) under dry and humid conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry