In Operando Analysis of Diffusion in Porous Metal‐Organic Framework Catalysts
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The potential to exert atomistic control over the structure of site-isolated catalyst sites, as well as the topology and chemical environment of interstitial pore spaces, has inspired efforts to apply porous metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) as catalysts for fine chemical synthesis. In analogy to enzyme-catalyzed reactions, MOF catalysts have been proposed as platforms in which substrate confinement could be used to achieve chemo- and stereoselectivities that are orthogonal to solution-phase catalysts. In order to leverage the tunable pore topology of MOFs to impact catalyst selectivity, catalysis must proceed at interstitial catalyst sites, rather than at solvent-exposed interfacial sites. This Minireview addresses challenges inherent to interstitial MOF catalysis by 1) describing the diffusional processes available to sorbates in porous materials, 2) discussing critical factors that impact the diffusion rate of substrates in porous materials, and 3) presenting in operando experimental strategies to assess the relative rates of substrate diffusion and catalyst turnover in MOF catalysis. It is anticipated that the continued development of in operando tools to evaluate substrate diffusion in porous catalysts will advance the application of these materials in fine chemical synthesis.
author list (cited authors)
Gao, W., Cardenal, A. D., Wang, C., & Powers, D. C.