Hybrid polyoxometalates as post-functionalization platforms: from fundamentals to emerging applications
Polyoxometalates (POMs) represent an important group of metal–oxo nanoclusters, typically comprised of early transition metals in high oxidation states (mainly V, Mo and W). Many plenary POMs exhibit good pH, solvent, thermal and redox stability, which makes them attractive components for the design of covalently integrated hybrid organic–inorganic molecules, herein referred to as hybrid-POMs. Until now, thousands of organic hybrid-POMs have been reported; however, only a small fraction can be further functionalized using other organic molecules or metal cations. This emerging class of ‘post-functionalizable’ hybrid-POMs constitute a valuable modular platform that permits coupling of POM properties with different organic and metal cation functionalities, thereby expanding the key physicochemical properties that are relevant for application in (photo)catalysis, bioinorganic chemistry and materials science. The post-functionalizable hybrid-POM platforms offer an opportunity to covalently link multi-electron redox responsive POM cores with virtually any (bio)organic molecule or metal cation, generating a wide range of materials with tailored properties. Over the past few years, these materials have been showcased in the preparation of framework materials, functional surfaces, surfactants, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts and light harvesting materials, among others. This review article provides an overview on the state of the art in POM post-functionalization and highlights the key design and structural features that permit the discovery of new hybrid-POM platforms. In doing so, we aim to make the subject more comprehensible, both for chemists and for scientists with different materials science backgrounds interested in the applications of hybrid (POM) materials. The review article goes beyond the realms of polyoxometalate chemistry and encompasses emerging research domains such as reticular materials, surfactants, surface functionalization, light harvesting materials, non-linear optics, charge storing materials, and homogeneous acid–base catalysis among others.