Color Tuning and White Light Emission via in Situ Doping of Luminescent Lanthanide Metal–Organic Frameworks

Isostructural lanthanide metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) are synthesized through the spontaneous self-assembly of H<sub>3</sub>BTPCA (1,1′,1″-(benzene-1,3,5-triyl)­tripiperidine-4-carboxylic acid) ligands and lanthanide ions (we term these MOFs <b>Ln-BTPCA</b>, Ln = La<sup>3+</sup>, Tb<sup>3+</sup>, Sm<sup>3+</sup>, etc.). Prompted by the observation that the different lanthanide ions have identical coordination environment in these MOFs, we explored and succeeded in the preparation of mixed-lanthanide analogues of the single-lanthanide MOFs by way of in situ doping using a mixture of lanthanide salts. With careful adjustment of the relative concentration of the lanthanide ions, the color of the luminescence can be modulated, and white light-emission can indeed be achieved. The mechanisms possibly responsible for the observed photophysical properties of these mixed-lanthanide MOFs are also discussed.