Metal-organic framework boosts heterogeneous electron donor–acceptor catalysis

Nature communications(2023)

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Metal-organic framework (MOF) is a class of porous materials providing an excellent platform for engineering heterogeneous catalysis. We herein report the design of MOF Zr-PZDB consisting of Zr 6 -clusters and PZDB (PZDB = 4,4’-(phenazine-5,10-diyl)dibenzoate) linkers, which served as the heterogeneous donor catalyst for enhanced electron donor–acceptor (EDA) photoactivation. The high local concentration of dihydrophenazine active centers in Zr-PZDB can promote the EDA interaction, therefore resulting in superior catalytic performance over homogeneous counterparts. The crowded environment of Zr-PZDB can protect the dihydrophenazine active center from being attacked by radical species. Zr-PZDB efficiently catalyzes the Minisci-type reaction of N -heterocycles with a series of C-H coupling partners, including ethers, alcohols, non-activated alkanes, amides, and aldehydes. Zr-PZDB also enables the coupling reaction of aryl sulfonium salts with heterocycles. The catalytic activity of Zr-PZDB extends to late-stage functionalization of bioactive and drug molecules, including Nikethamide, Admiral, and Myristyl Nicotinate. Systematical spectroscopy study and analysis support the EDA interaction between Zr-PZDB and pyridinium salt or aryl sulfonium salt, respectively. Photoactivation of the MOF-based EDA adduct triggers an intra-complex single electron transfer from donor to acceptor, giving open-shell radical species for cross-coupling reactions. This research represents the first example of MOF-enabled heterogeneous EDA photoactivation.
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