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Mechanism and Kinetics for Reaction of the Chemical Warfare Agent Simulant, DMMP(g), with Zirconium(IV) MOFs: An Ultrahigh-Vacuum and DFT Study

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journal contribution
posted on 10.04.2017, 00:00 by G. Wang, C. Sharp, A. M. Plonka, Q. Wang, A. I. Frenkel, W. Guo, C. Hill, C. Smith, J. Kollar, D. Troya, J. R. Morris
The mechanism and kinetics of interactions between dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP), a key chemical warfare agent (CWA) simulant, and Zr6-based metal organic frameworks (MOFs) have been investigated with in situ infrared spectroscopy (IR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), and DFT calculations. DMMP was found to adsorb molecularly to UiO-66 through the formation of hydrogen bonds between the phosphoryl oxygen and the free hydroxyl groups associated with Zr6 nodes on the surface of crystallites and not within the bulk MOF structure. Unlike UiO-66, the infrared spectra for UiO-67 and MOF-808, recorded during DMMP exposure, suggest that uptake occurs through both physisorption and chemisorption. The XPS spectra of MOF-808 zirconium 3d electrons reveal a charge redistribution following exposure to DMMP. In addition, analysis of the phosphorus 2p electrons following exposure and thermal annealing to 600 K indicates that two types of stable phosphorus-containing species exist within the MOF. DFT calculations, used to guide the IR band assignments and to help interpret the XPS features, suggest that uptake is driven by nucleophilic addition of an OH group to DMMP with subsequent elimination of a methoxy substituent to form strongly bound methyl methylphosphonic acid (MMPA). The rates of product formation indicate that there are likely two distinct uptake processes, requiring rate constants that differ by approximately an order of magnitude. However, the rates of molecular uptake were found to be nearly identical to the rates of reaction, which strongly suggests that the reaction rates are diffusion-limited. The final products were found to inhibit further reactions within the MOFs, and these products could not be thermally driven from the MOFs prior to decomposition of the MOFs themselves.