Development of Metal–Organic Frameworks for Catalysis : Designing Functional and Porous Crystals

Abstract: Metal–organic frameworks, or MOFs, have emerged as a new class of porous materials made by linking metal and organic units. The easy preparation, structural and functional tunability, ultrahigh porosity, and enormous surface areas of MOFs have led to them becoming one of the fastest growing fields in chemistry. MOFs have potential applications in numerous areas such as clean energy, adsorption and separation processes, biomedicine, and sensing. One of the most promising areas of research with MOFs is heterogeneous catalysis.This thesis describes the design and synthesis of new, carboxylate-based MOFs for use as catalysts. These materials have been characterized using diffraction, spectroscopy, adsorption, and imaging techniques. The thesis has focused on preparing highly-stable MOFs for catalysis, using post-synthetic methods to modify the properties of these crystals, and applying a combination of characterization techniques to probe these complex materials.In the first part of this thesis, several new vanadium MOFs have been presented. The synthesis of MIL-88B(V), MIL-101(V), and MIL-47 were studied using ex situ techniques to gain insight into the synthesis–structure relationships. The properties of these materials have also been studied.In the second part, the use of MOFs as supports for metallic nanoparticles has been investigated. These materials, [email protected]–NH2(Cr) and [email protected]–NH2(Cr), were used as catalysts for Suzuki–Miyaura and oxidation reactions, respectively. The effect of the base on the catalytic activity, crystallinity, porosity, and palladium distribution of [email protected]–NH2(Cr) was studied.In the final part, the introduction of transition-metal complexes into MOFs through different synthesis routes has been described. A ruthenium complex was grafted onto an aluminium MOF, MOF-253, and an iridium metallolinker was introduced into a zirconium MOF, UiO-68–2CH3. These materials were used as catalysts for alcohol oxidation and allylic alcohol isomerization, respectively.