Porous Coordination Networks with Organotellurium Functions as Solid State Catalysts

Project: Research

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We seek to introduce organotellurium functions into porous coordination networks (PCNs), in order to access composite materials with advanced catalytic activities that are to impact the field of heterogeneous catalysis. PCNs build on organic molecules and metal ions to provide well-defined porous features offering great potential for absorption and encapsulation of various molecules. Current research in this field primarily focuses on using simple and unfunctionalized organic molecules for building the PCNs, and the absorption studies are mostly limited to small and simple molecules (e.g., H2, N2 and CO2). By contrast, we here aim to integrate the highly functional and Lewis acidic organotellurium halides into the host network as catalytically active sites within the well-defined pores of the host net.To assemble this type of sophisticated networks, we invoke our long-standing experience with molecular design and equip the molecular building units with two sets of chemical functions—one set being the hard and hydrophilic carboxylic group, and the other being the soft and hydrophobic diorganyltelluride group (R1-Te-R2). Thus the carboxylate groups will first bind to chemically hard metal ions (such as Ln3+) to form a robust coordination network, while leaving the soft diorganyltelluride groups as free standing groups inside the network. The diorganyltelluride group will then be reacted with a dihalogen molecule X2 (e.g., Cl2, Br2 or I2) to form the diorganyltellurium dihalide (R1R2TeCl2) function. To further enhance the Lewis acidity of the tellurium center, we will diffuse AgBF4 into the pores to generate a more positively charged diorganylhalotellurium R1R2Te+X unit (with the AgX as the side product). The R1R2Te+X unit, with its significant Lewis acidic properties, are to transform the coordination host networks into potential solid state catalysts for a wide range of organic reactions.


Project number7002590
Grant typeSRG
Effective start/end date1/05/101/02/13