Crystalline Metal-Organic Frameworks Based on Conformationally Flexible Phosphonic Acids
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The goal of the work described in this dissertation was to investigate the structure of metal phosphonate frameworks which were composed of conforma-tionally flexible ligands. This goal was achieved through investigating new syn-thetic techniques, systematically changing structural aspects (i.e. chain length), and conducting in situ X-ray diffraction experiments under non-ambient condi-tions. First, the use of ionic liquids in the synthesis of metal phosphonates was in-vestigated. Reaction systems which had previously been studied in purely aqueous synthetic media were reinvestigated with the addition of a hydrophobic ionic liq-uid to the reaction. Second, the structural diversity of zinc alkylbisphosphonates was investigated through systematically varying the chain length and reaction conditions. Last, the structural changes associated with externally applied stimuli (namely temperature and pressure) on conformationally flexible metal phospho-nates were investigated. Elevated temperature was used to investigate the structur-al changes of a 1-D cobalt chain compound through three stages of dehydration and also applied pressures of up to 10 GPa were used to probe the structural resili-ence of two zinc alkylbisphosphonate materials under. The iminobis(methylphosphonic acid) type ligands are a good example of a small, simple, conformationally flexible ligand. There are three distinct different structural types, utilizing this ligand with cobalt metal, described in the literature, all of which contain bound or solvated water molecules. The addition of a hydrophobic ionic liquid to an aqueous synthesis medium resulted in new anhydrous compounds with unique structural features. Systematic investigations of zinc alkylbisphosphonate materials, construct-ed with three to six carbon linker ligands, resulted in four new families of com-pounds. Each of these families has unique structural features which may prove in-teresting in future applications developments. Importantly, it is shown that wheth-er the chain length is odd or even plays a role in structural type although it is not necessarily a requirement for a given structural type; furthermore, chain length itself is not strictly determinative of structural type. Dehydration in a cobalt phosphonate was followed via in situ single crystal X-ray diffraction. The compound goes through a two-stage dehydration mecha-nism in which the compound changes from a 1-D chain to a 2-D sheet. This pro-cess is reversible and shows unique switchable magnetic properties. The high pressure studies of an alkyl chain built zinc metal phosphonate showed that the chains provide a spring-like cushion to stabilize the compression of the system allowing for large distortions in the metal coordination environment, without destruction of the material. This intriguing observation raises questions as to whether or not these types of materials may play a role as a new class of piezo-functional solid-state materials.
Gagnon, Kevin James (2013). Crystalline Metal-Organic Frameworks Based on Conformationally Flexible Phosphonic Acids. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from