Periodic Reporting for period 1 - hetero-MOF (Rational design of novel heterometallic MOFs for their use in heterogeneous catalysis for cascade reactions)
Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2017-04-30
The present hetero-MOF project proposed mixed-metal Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) as suitable multi-functional structures for their implementation as superior heterogeneous catalysts. The project targets the direct synthesis of bi-metallic MOFs aiming to improve catalytic performances of the homo-metallic analogous. With this purpose, several goals are envisioned: i) The design and synthesis of new multi-metallic MOF structures. ii) The comprehensive physico-chemical characterisation of the hetero-MOFs. iii) The study of MOFs’ catalytic performances in model reactions.
In parallel to the synthesis, complete structural and textural characterisation of the novel hetero-MOFs was developed. In situ infrared spectroscopy analysis was carried out on specific heterometallic MOFs to gain insights on the nature and the oxidation state of the accessible cations in the framework.
Finally, to validate the catalytic activity of the obtained heterometallic MOFs as compared to their parent homometallic material, we tested them in acid-catalyzed model reactions. It was found that for a certain metal substitution the catalytic activity improves more than one order of magnitude, with a complete selectivity. It is proposed that the insertion of new Lewis acid sites on the structure effectively promotes the formation of highly reactive defects, which could explain these catalytic performances. These heterometallic MOFs can be recycled in the absence of metal leaching, while maintaining the crystal structure in the reaction conditions.
Along with the advance of the technical aspects of this action, different strategies for communication and public engagement have been considered with special attention to gender dimensions. This project has participated in events dedicated to the general public with the main idea to stimulate interest in research careers, particularly in children.