Luminescent multifunctional lanthanides-based metal–organic frameworks
Metal–organic frameworks based on trivalent lanthanides (LnMOFs) are a very promising class of materials for addressing the challenges in engineering of luminescent centres. Lanthanide-bearing phosphors find numerous applications in lighting, optical communications, photonics and biomedical devices. In this critical review we discuss the potential of LnMOFs as multifunctional systems, which combine light emission with properties such as microporosity, magnetism, chirality, molecule and ion sensing, catalysis and activity as multimodal imaging contrast agents. We argue that these materials present a unique chance of observing synergy between several of these properties, such as the coupling between photoluminescence and magnetism. Moreover, an integrated approach towards the design of efficient, stable, cheap, environmentally-friendly and multifunctional luminescent LnMOFs is still missing. Although research into LnMOFs is at its early stage and much basic knowledge is still needed, the field is ripe for new ideas, which will enable sensor devices and photonic prototypes to become a commercial reality (81 references).