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Structure Elucidation of Mixed-Linker Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks by Solid-State 1H CRAMPS NMR Spectroscopy and Computational Modeling



Ryan C. Nieuwendaal, Krishna Jayachandrababu, Ross Verploegh, Johannes Leisen, David Sholl, Sankar Nair


Mixed-linker zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) are nanoporous materials that exhibit continuous and controllable tunability of properties like effective pore size, hydrophobicity and organophilicity. The structure of mixed-linker ZIFs has been studied on macroscopic scales using gravimetric and spectroscopic techniques. However, it has so far not been possible to obtain information on unit-cell-level linker distribution, an understanding of which is key to predicting and controlling their adsorption and diffusion properties. We demonstrate the use of 1H-CRAMPS NMR spin exchange measurements in combination with computational modeling to elucidate the structure of mixed-linker ZIFs, particularly the ZIF 8-90 series. Direct experimental observations of linker mixing were accomplished by measuring the proton spin exchange behavior between functional groups on the linkers. The data was then fitted to a kinetic spin exchange model using proton positions from candidate mixed-linker ZIF structures that were generated computationally using the short-range order (SRO) parameter as a measure of the ordering, clustering, or randomization of the linkers. The present method offers the advantages of sensitivity without requiring isotope enrichment, a straightforward NMR pulse sequence, and an analysis framework that allows one to relate spin diffusion behavior to atomic positions. We find that structures close to equimolar composition of the two linkers show a greater tendency for linker clustering than what would be predicted based on random models. Nevertheless, all the compositions studied have structures that have linkers mixed at a unit-cell-level as opposed to separated or highly clustered phases within the same crystal. Using computational modeling we have also shown how the window-type distribution in experimentally synthesized mixed-linker ZIF-8-90 materials varies as a function of their composition. The structural information thus obtained can be further used for pr
Journal of the American Chemical Society


Nieuwendaal, R. , Jayachandrababu, K. , Verploegh, R. , Leisen, J. , Sholl, D. and Nair, S. (2016), Structure Elucidation of Mixed-Linker Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks by Solid-State 1H CRAMPS NMR Spectroscopy and Computational Modeling, Journal of the American Chemical Society, [online], (Accessed July 14, 2024)


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Created May 23, 2016, Updated February 19, 2017