Metal-Organic Framework Nodes as a Supporting Platform for Tailoring the Activity of Metal Catalysts

Zoha H. Syed, Fanrui Sha, Xuan Zhang, David M. Kaphan, Massimiliano Delferro, Omar K. Farha*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Catalysis is a ubiquitous element of the modern economy, representing a cornerstone of many sectors including energy, materials, and pharmaceuticals. Within this realm, 80% of reactions are carried out by heterogeneous catalysts due to their advantageous physical and chemical characteristics. In some heterogeneous systems, the reaction rate can be optimized through rational catalyst design, in which support materials can be tailored structurally and stereoelectronically for targeted purposes to better facilitate the catalytic reaction. To this end, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have garnered recent attention due to their high porosity, crystallinity, and chemical tunability, which can be used to derive structure-activity relationships in the design of catalysts. In this Perspective, we survey examples of catalytically active guest metals on the inorganic nodes of MOFs. This is done with the intention of providing design guidelines for tailoring chemical reactivity and insights into the opportunities for future growth in this field. Strategies for rational design in MOF catalysis include electronic tuning of the metal node in the MOF support, installing promoter ions onto the node to effect the reactivity of grafted metals, modulation of the spatial environment around the transition metal using the metal node structure, and achieving site uniformity in supported catalysts. By highlighting these efforts, we seek to underscore the role of MOF nodes as nonspectator supports for catalytic metal complexes and provide future directions for rational catalyst design by tuning reactivity on these anchoring platforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11556-11566
Number of pages11
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • catalyst support
  • metal-organic frameworks
  • rational catalyst design
  • reactivity
  • transition metal catalysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Metal-Organic Framework Nodes as a Supporting Platform for Tailoring the Activity of Metal Catalysts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this