HKUST-1 MOF in reline deep eutectic solvent: synthesis and phase transformation†
The fate of HKUST-1 (Cu3(BTC)2, BTC = 1,3,5-benzenetricarboxylate) in the green Deep Eutectic Solvent (DES) reline (choline chloride/urea 1 : 2) was investigated, highlighting that not only reline can be used to make this MOF but also to transform it into another crystalline material. The synthesis of HKUST-1(reline) showing good textural properties and a particular rose morphology was indeed successfully achieved in this solvent. However, upon optimizing the reaction conditions such as concentration and metal/ligand ratio, it was found that another structure Cu2(BTC)Cl also forms. It was unequivocally demonstrated that, upon heating in reline, HKUST-1 converts to the non-porous chloride-incorporating material. Hence, a novel feature of DES in MOF synthesis is uncovered: its role as a structure-directing agent, triggering the transformation between two different MOF structures.