Keywords: MOFs, heterogeneous catalysis, gas capture
Summary:Traditional applications of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are focused on gas storage and separation, which take advantage of the inherent porosity and high surface area of these materials. One virtually untapped area of MOF chemistry is related to their potential to mediate redox reactivity and heterogeneous catalysis through their metal nodes. We show that MOFs can be thought of as unique macromolecular ligands that give rise to unusual molecular clusters where small molecules can react in a matrix-like environment, akin to the metal binding pockets of metalloproteins. By employing a mild, highly modular synthetic method and a suite of spectroscopic techniques, we show that redox reactivity at MOF nodes can lead to the isolation and characterization of highly unstable intermediates relevant to biological and industrial catalysis, and to industrially relevant catalytic transformations that are currently performed only by homogeneous catalysts. Relatedly, water can be adsorbed in record quantity, providing an exciting avenue for delivering fresh water in dry, water-stressed areas.