Two-dimensional, conductive niobium and molybdenum metal–organic frameworks†
The incorporation of second-row transition metals into metal–organic frameworks could greatly improve the performance of these materials across a wide variety of applications due to the enhanced covalency, redox activity, and spin–orbit coupling of late-row metals relative to their first-row analogues. Thus far, however, the synthesis of such materials has been limited to a small number of metals and structural motifs. Here, we report the syntheses of the two-dimensional metal–organic framework materials (H2NMe2)2Nb2(Cl2dhbq)3 and Mo2(Cl2dhbq)3 (H2Cl2dhbq = 3,6-dichloro-2,5-dihydroxybenzoquinone), which feature mononuclear niobium or molybdenum metal nodes and are formed through reactions driven by metal-to-ligand electron transfer. Characterization of these materials via X-ray absorption spectroscopy suggests a local trigonal prismatic coordination geometry for both niobium and molybdenum, consistent with their increased covalency relative to related first-row transition metal compounds. A combination of vibrational spectroscopy, magnetic susceptibility, and electronic conductivity measurements reveal that these two frameworks possess distinct electronic structures. In particular, while the niobium compound displays evidence for redox-trapping and strong magnetic interactions, the molybdenum phase is valence-delocalized with evidence of large polaron formation. Weak interlayer interactions in the neutral molybdenum phase enable solvent-assisted exfoliation to yield few-layer hexagonal nanosheets. Together, these results represent the first syntheses of metal–organic frameworks containing mononuclear niobium and molybdenum nodes, establishing a route to frameworks incorporating a more diverse range of second- and third-row transition metals with increased covalency and the potential for improved charge transport and stronger magnetic coupling.