Get access

Probing the Lewis Acidity and Catalytic Activity of the Metal–Organic Framework [Cu3(btc)2] (BTC=Benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxylate)



An optimized procedure was designed for the preparation of the microporous metal–organic framework (MOF) [Cu3(btc)2] (BTC=benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxylate). The crystalline material was characterized by X-ray diffraction, optical microscopy, SEM, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, N2 sorption, thermogravimetry, and IR spectroscopy of adsorbed CO. CO adsorbs on a small number of Cu2O impurities, and particularly on the free CuII coordination sites in the framework. [Cu3(btc)2] is a highly selective Lewis acid catalyst for the isomerization of terpene derivatives, such as the rearrangement of α-pinene oxide to campholenic aldehyde and the cyclization of citronellal to isopulegol. By using the ethylene ketal of 2-bromopropiophenone as a test substrate, it was demonstrated that the active sites in [Cu3(btc)2] are hard Lewis acids. Catalyst stability, re-usability, and heterogeneity are critically assessed.