A Cu-Doped ZIF-8 metal organic framework as a heterogeneous solid catalyst for aerobic oxidation of benzylic hydrocarbons†
Mixed-metal metal organic frameworks have received considerable attention in recent years and it has been shown that the activity of the parent metal organic framework (MOF) is often enhanced upon doping with external metal ions within the framework. In this context, Cu2+ ions with different loadings were incorporated within the ZIF-8 framework to obtain a series of Cu-doped ZIF-8 materials and their activity was examined in the aerobic oxidation of hydrocarbons. The as-synthesized Cu-doped solids were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), ultraviolet diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (UV-DRS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier Transform infrared (FT-IR), electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and inductively coupled plasma (ICP) analysis. The experimental results revealed that the activity of Cu-doped ZIF-8 is much higher than that of the parent ZIF-8 in all the tested substrates at 120 °C. Furthermore, the activity of the Cu-doped ZIF-8 with the highest Cu loading was eight fold higher than that of the parent ZIF-8 in the aerobic oxidation of cyclooctane (1) at 120 °C with more than 80% selectivity to the corresponding cyclooctanol/cyclooctanone (ol/one) mixture. Cu-doped ZIF-8 was reused two times with no significant drop in its activity under identical conditions. Furthermore, comparison of the two times reused solid with that of the fresh solid by powder XRD and SEM analysis revealed identical structural integrity and morphology, respectively during the oxidation reactions.