Centrosymmetric and chiral porous thorium organic frameworks exhibiting uncommon thorium coordination environments†
The solvothermal reaction of thorium nitrate and tris-(4-carboxylphenyl)phosphine oxide in DMF affords a centrosymmetric porous thorium organic framework compound [Th(TPO)(OH)(H2O)]·8H2O (1). In contrast, the ionothermal reaction of the same reagents in the ionic liquid 1-butyl-2,3-dimethylimidazolium chloride results in the formation of a rare example of a chiral and porous thorium organic framework compound, [C9H17N2][Th(TPO)Cl2]·18H2O (2), which is derived solely from achiral starting materials. The geometries of the Th(IV) centers in compounds 1 and 2 are both atypical for low valent actinides, which can be best described as a ten-coordinate spherical sphenocorona and an irregular muffin, respectively. A large cavity of 17.5 Å (max. face to face) × 8 Å (min. face to face) with a BET surface area of 623 m2 g−1 in compound 2 is observed. The poor stability indicated by thermal gravimetric analysis and the water-resistance test for compound 2 may be due to the unique anisotropic coordination geometry for thorium. Temperature-dependent luminescence studies for both compounds indicate that the trends in the intensity vary as the Th–Th distance and the coordination environments of Th(IV) centers change.