The synthesis of titanium-carboxylate metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) is hampered by the high reactivity of the commonly employed alkoxide precursors. Herein, we present an innovative approach to titanium-based MOFs by the use of titanocene dichloride to synthesize COK-69, the first breathing Ti MOF, which is built up from trans-1,4-cyclo-hexanedicarboxylate linkers and an unprecedented [Ti-3(IV)(mu(3)-O)(O)(2)(COO)(6)] cluster. The photoactive properties of COK-69 were investigated in depth by proton-coupled electron-transfer experiments, which revealed that up to one Ti-IV center per cluster can be photoreduced to Ti-III while preserving the structural integrity of the framework. The electronic structure of COK-69 was determined by molecular modeling, and a band gap of 3.77 eV was found.
Functionalized linkers can greatly increase the activity of metal–organic framework (MOF) catalysts with coordinatively unsaturated sites. A clear linear free-energy relationship (LFER) was found between Hammett σm values of the linker substituents X and the rate kX of a carbonyl-ene reaction. This is the first LFER ever observed for MOF catalysts. A 56-fold increase in rate was found when the substituent is a nitro group.