Maximizing the Photocatalytic Activity of Metal-Organic Frameworks with Aminated-Functionalized Linkers: Substoichiometric Effects in MIL-125-NH2.

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Despite the promise of utilizing metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) as highly tunable photocatalytic materials, systematic studies that interrogate the relationship between their catalytic performances and the amount of functionalized linkers are lacking. Aminated linkers are known to enhance the absorption of light and afford photocatalysis with MOFs under visible-light irradiation. However, the manner in which the photocatalytic performances are impacted by the amount of such linkers is poorly understood. Here, we assess the photocatalytic activity of MIL-125, a TiO2/1,4-benzenedicarboxylate (bdc) MOF for the oxidation of benzyl alcohol to benzaldehyde when increasing amounts of bdc-NH2 linkers (0%, 20%, 46%, 70%, and 100%) are incorporated in the framework. Analytical TEM allowed assessing the homogeneous localization of bdc-NH2 in these mixed-linker MOFs. Steady state reaction rates reveal two regimes of catalytic performances: a first linear regime up to ∼50% bdc-NH2 into the hybrid framework whereby increased amounts of bdc-NH2 yielded increased photocatalytic rates, followed by a plateau up to 100% bdc-NH2. This unexpected "saturation" of the catalytic activity above ∼50% bdc-NH2 content in the framework whatever the wavelength filters used demonstrates that amination of all linkers of the MOF is not required to obtain the maximum photocatalytic activity. This is rationalized on the basis of mixed-valence Ti3+/Ti4+ intermediate catalytic centers revealed by electron spin resonance (ESR) measurements and recent knowledge of lifetime excited states in MIL-125-type of solids.

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Journal of the American Chemical Society

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