Topological Control in Heterometallic Metal−Organic Frameworks by Anion Templating and Metalloligand Design

Several new heterometallic metal−organic frameworks (MOFs) based on tris(dipyrrinato) metalloligands and Ag+ salts are reported. MOFs were prepared systematically to examine the effects of the core metal ion, counteranion, and ligand structure on the topology of the resultant network. The effect of the metal ion (Fe3+ vs Co3+) on MOF structure was generally found to be negligible, thereby permitting the facile synthesis of trimetallic Fe/Co/Ag networks. The choice of anion (e.g., silver salt) was found to have a pronounced effect on the MOF topology. Networks prepared with salts of AgO3SCF3 and AgBF4 reliably formed three-dimensional (10,3) nets, whereas use of AgPF6 and AgSbF6 produced two-dimensional (6,3) honeycomb nets. The topology generated upon formation of the MOF was found to be robust in certain cases, as demonstrated by anion-exchange experiments. Anion exchange was confirmed by X-ray crystallography in a rare set of apparent single-crystal-to-single-crystal transformations. The data presented here strongly suggest that the coordinative ability of the anion does not play a significant role in the observed templating effect. Finally, changes in the length of the tris(dipyrrinato) metalloligand were found to override the anion templating effect, resulting exclusively in two-dimensional (6,3) nets. These studies provide a basis for the rational design of MOF topologies by choice of ligand structure and anion templating effects. Furthermore, the results demonstrate the ability of carefully designed metalloligands to generate MOFs of structure strikingly similar to that of their organic counterparts.