Sanjaya D. Senanayake, Ann M. May, Matthew C. Kessinger, Carlos Landaverde-Alvarado, Amanda J. Morris, Meng Cai, Pavel M. Usov, Paula J. Celis-Salazar, Dunru Zhu, Carla Slebodnick, Jie Zhu, Wenqian Xu, Shaoyang Lin
Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) have shown great promise in catalysis, mainly due to their high content of active centers, large internal surface areas, tunable pore size, and versatile chemical functionalities. However, it is a challenge to rationally design and construct MOFs that can serve as highly stable and reusable heterogeneous catalysts. Here two new robust 3D porous metal-cyclam-based zirconium MOFs, denoted VPI-100 (Cu) and VPI-100 (Ni), have been prepared by a modulated synthetic strategy. The frameworks are assembled by eight-connected Zr6 clusters and metallocyclams as organic linkers. Importantly, the cyclam core has accessible axial coordination sites for guest interactions and maintains the electronic properties exhibited by the parent cyclam ring. The VPI-100 MOFs exhibit excellent chemical stability in various organic and aqueous solvents over a wide pH range and show high CO2 uptake capacity (up to ∼9.83 wt% adsorption at 273 K under 1 atm). Moreover, VPI-100 MOFs demonstrate some of the highest reported catalytic activity values (turnover frequency and conversion efficiency) among Zr-based MOFs for the chemical fixation of CO2 with epoxides, including sterically hindered epoxides. The MOFs, which bear dual catalytic sites (Zr and Cu/Ni), enable chemistry not possible with the cyclam ligand under the same conditions and can be used as recoverable stable heterogeneous catalysts without losing performance.