Synthesis of 2D and 3D MOFs with tuneable Lewis acidity from preformed 1D hybrid sub-domains†
Novel MOF-type materials with different morphologies based on assembled 1D organic–inorganic sub-domains were prepared using specific monodentate benzylcarboxylate spacers with functional substituents in the para-position as structure modulating agents. The combination of electron-withdrawing or electron-donating functions in the organic spacers with suitable solvothermal synthesis conditions allowed modulating the structuration level (2D or 3D), vacancies, physico-chemical properties and Lewis acidity strength of the metal–organic structures. Furthermore, bimetallic (Al/Fe) MOF-type materials were synthesized by a one-pot direct process without modification of the structural framework. The activity of these hybrid materials as Lewis acid catalysts was evaluated to prepare cyanohydrins as precursors for the synthesis of biologically active compounds, and for aerobic oxidation of thiols to disulfides. The catalytic results showed that the derived MOFs exhibited modulatable Lewis acid capacities which are a function of the morphology, functionality of monodentate substituents present in the networks and a cooperative effect between metallic nodes of different nature.