Tuning the Lewis acidity of metal–organic frameworks for enhanced catalysis†
The kinetics of hydrolysis of dimethyl nitrophenyl phosphate (DMNP), a simulant of the nerve agent Soman, was studied and revealed transition metal salts as catalysts. The relative rates of DMNP hydrolysis by zirconium and hafnium chlorides are in accordance with their Lewis acidity. In situ conversion of zirconium chloride to zirconium oxy-hydroxide was identified as the key step. We propose a precursor-MOF activity relationship.