A switchable iron-based coordination polymer toward reversible acetonitrile electro-optical readout†
Efficient and low cost detection of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a major health and environmental need in industrialized societies. For this, tailor-made porous coordination polymers are emerging as promising molecular sensing materials thanks to their responsivity to a wide variety of external stimuli and could be used to complement conventional sensors. Here, a non-porous crystalline 1D Fe(II) coordination polymer acting as a porous acetonitrile host is presented. The desorption of interstitial acetonitrile is accompanied by magneto–structural transitions easily detectable in the optical and electronic properties of the material. This structural switch and therefore its (opto)electronic readout are reversible under exposure of the crystal to acetonitrile vapor. This simple and robust iron-based coordination polymer could be ideally suited for the construction of multifunctional sensor devices for volatile acetonitrile and potentially for other organic compounds.