Photochemistry in a 3D metal-organic framework (MOF): monitoring intermediates and reactivity of the fac-to-mer photoisomerization of Re(diimine)(CO)3Cl incorporated in a MOF

Timothy L. Easun, Junhua Jia, James A. Calladine, Danielle L. Blackmore, Christopher S. Stapleton, Khuong Q. Vuong, Neil R. Champness, Michael W. George

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22 Citations (Scopus)


The mechanism and intermediates in the UV-light-initiated ligand rearrangement of fac-Re(diimine)(CO)3Cl to form the mer isomer, when incorporated into a 3D metal–organic framework (MOF), have been investigated. The structure hosting the rhenium diimine complex is a 3D network with the formula {Mn(DMF)2[LRe(CO)3Cl]} (ReMn; DMF = N,N-dimethylformamide), where the diimine ligand L, 2,2′-bipyridine-5,5′-dicarboxylate, acts as a strut of the MOF. The incorporation of ReMn into a KBr disk allows spatial distribution of the mer-isomer photoproduct in the disk to be mapped and spectroscopically characterized by both Fourier transform infrared and Raman microscopy. Photoisomerization has been monitored by IR spectroscopy and proceeds via dissociation of a CO to form more than one dicarbonyl intermediate. The dicarbonyl species are stable in the solid state at 200 K. The photodissociated CO ligand appears to be trapped within the crystal lattice and, upon warming above 200 K, readily recombines with the dicarbonyl intermediates to form both the fac-Re(diimine)(CO)3Cl starting material and the mer-Re(diimine)(CO)3Cl photoproduct. Experiments over a range of temperatures (265–285 K) allow estimates of the activation enthalpy of recombination for each process of ca. 16 (±6) kJ mol–1 (mer formation) and 23 (±4) kJ mol–1 (fac formation) within the MOF. We have compared the photochemistry of the ReMn MOF with a related alkane-soluble Re(dnb)(CO)3Cl complex (dnb = 4,4′-dinonyl-2,2′-bipyridine). Time-resolved IR measurements clearly show that, in an alkane solution, the photoinduced dicarbonyl species again recombines with CO to both re-form the fac-isomer starting material and form the mer-isomer photoproduct. Density functional theory calculations of the possible dicarbonyl species aids the assignment of the experimental data in that the ν(CO) IR bands of the CO loss intermediate are, as expected, shifted to lower energy when the metal is bound to DMF rather than to an alkane and both solution data and calculations suggest that the ν(CO) band positions in the photoproduced dicarbonyl intermediates of ReMn are consistent with DMF binding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2606-2612
Number of pages7
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number5
Early online date11 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2014


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