Reticular exploration of uranium-based metal—organic frameworks with hexacarboxylate building units


The rational reticular design of metal—organic frameworks (MOFs) from building units of known geometries is essential for enriching the diversity of MOF structures. Unexpected and intriguing structures, however, can also arise from subtle changes in the rigidity/length of organic linkers and/or synthetic conditions. Herein, we report three uranium-based MOF structures—i.e., NU-135X (X = 0, 1, 2)—synthesized from trigonal planar uranyl nodes and triptycene-based hexacarboxylate ligands with variable arm lengths. A new chiral 3,6-connected nuc net was observed in NU-1350, while the extended versions of the ligand led to 3-fold catenated MOFs (NU-1351 and NU-1352) with rare 3,6-connected cml-c3 nets. The differences in the topology of NU-1350 and NU-1351/NU-1352 could be attributed to the slight distortions of the shorter linker in the former from the ideal trigonal prism geometry to an octahedral geometry when coordinated to the trigonal planar uranyl nodes.

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O. K. F. acknowledges the support from the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, under Award Number DE-NA0003763. This work made use of the EPIC facility of Northwestern University’s NUANCE Center, which has received support from the Soft and Hybrid Nanotechnology Experimental (SHyNE) Resource (NSF NNCI-1542205); the MRSEC program (NSF DMR-1720139) at the Materials Research Center; the International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN); the Keck Foundation; and the State of Illinois, through the IIN. This work made use of the IMSERC at Northwestern University, which has received support from the NSF (CHE-1048773 and DMR0521267); Soft and Hybrid Nanotechnology Experimental (SHyNE) Resource (NSF NNCI-1542205); the State of Illinois and International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN). P. L. and J. F. S. acknowledge the Joint Center of Excellence in Integrated Nano-Systems (JCIN) at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Northwestern University (NU).

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Correspondence to Zhijie Chen or Omar K. Farha.

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Chen, Z., Li, P., Zhang, X. et al. Reticular exploration of uranium-based metal—organic frameworks with hexacarboxylate building units. Nano Res. 14, 376–380 (2021).

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  • reticular chemistry
  • uranium-based metal—organic frameworks (MOFs)
  • hexacarboxylate
  • 3,6-connected net
  • catenation
  • actinide