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Linker Desymmetrization: Access to a Series of Rare-Earth Tetracarboxylate Frameworks with Eight-Connected Hexanuclear Nodes

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posted on 27.01.2021, 18:34 by Xiu-Liang Lv, Liang Feng, Lin-Hua Xie, Tao He, Wei Wu, Kun-Yu Wang, Guangrui Si, Bin Wang, Jian-Rong Li, Hong-Cai Zhou
The exploration of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) through the rational design of building units with specific sizes, geometries, and symmetries is essential for enriching the structural diversity of porous solids for applications including storage, separation, and conversion. However, it is still a challenge to directly synthesize rare-earth (RE) MOFs with less connected clusters as a thermodynamically favored product. Herein, we report a systematic investigation on the influence of size, rigidity, and symmetry of linkers over the formation of RE-tetracarboxylate MOFs and uncover the critical role of linker desymmetrization in constructing RE-MOFs with eight-connected hexanuclear clusters. Our results on nine new RE-MOFs, PCN-50X (X = 1–9), indicate that utilization of trapezoidal or tetrahedral linkers provides accesses to traditionally unattainable RE-tetracarboxylate MOFs with 8-c hexanuclear nodes, while the introduction of square or rectangular linkers during the assembly of RE-MOFs based on polynuclear clusters typically leads to the MOFs constructed from 12-c nodes with underlying shp topology. By rational linker design, MOFs with two unprecedented (4, 8)-c nets, lxl and jun, can also be obtained. This work highlights linker desymmetrization as a powerful strategy to enhance MOFs’ structural complexity and access MOF materials with nondefault topologies that can be potentially used for separation and catalysis.