Hierarchically we will approach three general objectives. First, we aim to demonstrate that compared to classical inorganic semiconductors, MOFs can play a significant role as advanced porous photo-catalysts with tunable efficiency by chemical engineering of their optical activity and electrical conductivity. In parallel, we aim to exploit the combination of chemical stability, electrical conductivity and porosity deployed by these crystalline frameworks to unleash their potential in electroreduction CO2 reactions. Finally, we plan to go be-yond the state-of-the-art and use MOFs as crystalline platforms to template the growth, stabilise and characterise SNMCs directly into their pores by mastering the host-guest dynamical recognition processes involved. Also important, the PROMETEO excellence project recognises the potential of the pursued goals for direct transfer to industrial application. Accordingly, we also aim to adapt the synthesis of the MOF materials identified as more relevant into more efficient production methodologies that allow for efficient multi-gram synthesis with optimum cost.
From a scientific point of view, the PROMETEO excellence project will approach the following goals:
Synthesis of porous, crystalline Ti(IV)-MOFs and evaluation of their photo-catalytic activity.
Computationally-assisted engineering of the optical/electrical properties of Ti(IV)-MOFs for optimum photo-catalytic activity.
Synthesis of porous, conductive MOFs by linker engineering. This action will also include heterometallic and heteroleptic materials to tailor CO2-catalytic site interactions to enhance selectivity.
Processing of MOFs into crystalline oriented films with optimized thickness for improved charge/mass transport.
Identification and preparation of the most suitable MOFs for their use as chemical reactors for in-situ construction of homo- and heterometallic SNMCs.
Use of single-crystal X-Ray diffraction (SCXRD) as definitive tool for unveiling the structure of SNMCs with atomic precision.
Evaluation of the properties of as-synthesised SNMCs in high-impact catalysis (our preliminary results show exceptional catalytic and photo-catalytic behaviours in several reactions of industrial interest).
Unveiling the mechanisms of catalytic reactions of SNMCs for specific organic reactions that guide a better understanding of the interplay between their nuclearity and overall activity.
Upscaling the manufacture of relevant titanium frameworks, electrocatalytic MOFs and MOF-templated SNMCs to overcome general limitations imposed by materials availability required for trans-fer to industrial applications.