Three ZnII metal-organic frameworks (Zn-MOFs), [Zn2(tib)(HL1)(H2L1)0.5]⋅2H2O (), [Zn2(tib)(L2)]⋅H2O () and [Zn3(tib)(L3)2(H2O)6]⋅2 H2O (), have been prepared by reactions of 1,3,5-tris(1-imidazolyl)benzene (tib), and biphenyl-3,3′,4,4′-tetracarboxylic acid (H4L1), 4,4′-oxydiphthalic acid (H4L2), or benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxylic acid (H3L3) with corresponding ZnII salts, respectively. Single crystal structure analyses reveal that and are constructed by Zn-centered polyhedra, tib and multidentate tetracarboxylate ligands to form 3-dimensional frameworks. In contrast, when the tetracarboxylate ligands were replaced by tricarboxylate ligand, layered structure of is produced. These compounds are further characterized by powder X-ray diffraction, element analyses, thermogravimetric analyses and photoluminescent spectroscopy. The luminescent properties of three Zn-MOFs dispersed in different solvents have been investigated systematically, demonstrating high sensitivity for the detection of nitro compounds via a fluorescence quenching mechanism.