Porous Anionic Metal-Organic Frameworks: Exhibiting Luminescence and Photocatalytic Activity by Encapsulating Metal Complexes via Post-Synthetic Ionic Exchange 

01 October 2016 → 30 September 2019
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Inorganic chemistry
Porous Anionic Metal-Organic Frameworks
Project description

The goal of this project is to create a new generation of photocatalysts to produce chemicals and to create white LEDs by encapsulating interesting cationic complexes into negatively charged scaffolds (anionic MOFs). Metal-Organic Frameworks received a lot of attention in the last 15 years, as they are porous crystalline materials with highly tunable porosity in the nanometer range. As they are formed by a combination of inorganic bricks with organic ligands, an almost infinite range of combinations is possible. Anionic MOFs are a much more recent developed subclass, that have the big advantage that they are electrically charged. Anionic MOFs will easily incorporate and hold cationic complexes by electrostatic forces. Cationic complexes of Ru(II) and Ir (III) are known to have very interesting properties as photocatalysts and luminescent materials, but are also very expensive and difficult to use and recover if they are used as such. The incorporation of these materials in the anionic gives them a whole set of new properties: they become films or particles that do not dissolve in the reaction medium, they can be filtered out of that reaction medium, reused again multiple times, be processed to fine powders or films and be used as phosphors in LED devices. Both applications are important steps in a more sustainable way to produce chemicals (photocatalysis uses sunlight as energy to produce chemical) and to produce “more natural looking” light (LEDs).