Herein we describe a novel, hollow-structured zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF-8-H) nanosphere as a highly efficient catalyst for [3+3] cycloaddition reactions. The programmed installation of acidic Zn2+ species and basic imidazolate moieties creates a synergistic catalytic system. Appropriate positioning of these functionalities in the catalytic system makes it possible to bring two substrates into close proximity and activate them cooperatively. Moreover, the flexible shell and the surface mesopores of ZIF-8-H provide the capacity for favorable binding of various sized substrates, stabilizing intermediates via their multiple force networks and the increased accessibility of the active sites. These features render ZIF-8-H a more highly active promoter than its homogeneous precursors, bulk ZIF-8 and ZIF-8-N nanoparticles. Finally, the robust catalyst can be easily recovered and reused 10 times without loss of catalytic activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry