Photoreactivity examined through incorporation in metal−organic frameworks


Metal−organic frameworks, typically built by bridging metal centres with organic linkers, have recently shown great promise for a wide variety of applications, including gas separation and drug delivery. Here, we have used them as a scaffold to probe the photophysical and photochemical properties of metal−diimine complexes. We have immobilized a M(diimine)(CO)3X moiety (where M is Re or Mn, and X can be Cl or Br) by using it as the linker of a metal−organic framework, with Mn(II) cations acting as nodes. Time-resolved infrared measurements showed that the initial excited state formed on ultraviolet irradiation of the rhenium-based metal−organic framework was characteristic of an intra-ligand state, rather than the metal−ligand charge transfer state typically observed in solution, and revealed that the metal−diimine complexes rearranged from the fac- to mer-isomer in the crystalline solid state. This approach also enabled characterization of the photoactivity of Mn(diimine)(CO)3Br by single-crystal X-ray diffraction.

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Figure 1: Views of the single-crystal X-ray structure of 1, with compound 2 adopting an isostructural arrangement.
Figure 2: Fast TRIR spectra obtained following irradiation of a KBr disc of {Mn(DMF)2[C12H6N2O4Re(CO)3Cl]} (1).
Figure 3: Characterization of photochemical conversion from fac- to mer-isomers by IR spectroscopy.
Figure 4: ATR-FTIR spectrum (bottom) of {Mn(DMF)2[C12H6N2O4Mn(CO)3Cl]} (2) and difference FTIR spectra (top).
Figure 5: Views of the single-crystal X-ray structure of the Mn(diimine)(CO)3Cl moiety in 2a and 2b, illustrating fac–mer isomerization.


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The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/D058147/1) for funding. We are grateful to the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) for access to the Diamond light source for single-crystal structure analysis. M.W.G. gratefully acknowledges receipt of a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award. We also thank S. Argent for useful discussions and D. Blackmore for experimental assistance.

Author information

A.J.B., D.R.A. and H.N. carried out the X-ray structural data analysis, X.Z.S. the photophysical measurements, T.L.E. the photophysical measurements, syntheses and characterization and J.J. the syntheses, characterization and X-ray structural data analysis. N.R.C. and M.W.G. designed, directed and supervised the overall project. All authors co-wrote the paper.

Correspondence to Neil R. Champness or Michael W. George.

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Crystallographic information for the metal−organic framework (ReMn), 1 (CIF 12 kb)

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Crystallographic information for the metal−organic framework MnMn), fac-isomer, 2a (CIF 17 kb)

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Crystallographic information for the metal−organic framework MnMn), mer-isomer, 2b (CIF 13 kb)

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Blake, A., Champness, N., Easun, T. et al. Photoreactivity examined through incorporation in metal−organic frameworks. Nature Chem 2, 688–694 (2010).

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