Quantum Mechanical Interpretation of the Ultra-Low Energy Methyl-Rotation Dynamics in Porous Metal-Organic Frameworks Probed by Low-Frequency Vibrational Spectroscopy and ab initio Simulations

<div>Understanding the nature of the interatomic interactions present within the pores of metal-organic frameworks</div><div>is critical in order to design and utilize advanced materials</div><div>with desirable applications. In ZIF-8 and its cobalt analogue</div><div>ZIF-67, the imidazolate methyl-groups, which point directly</div><div>into the void space, have been shown to freely rotate - even</div><div>down to cryogenic temperatures. Using a combination of ex-</div><div>perimental terahertz time-domain spectroscopy, low-frequency</div><div>Raman spectroscopy, and state-of-the-art ab initio simulations,</div><div>the methyl-rotor dynamics in ZIF-8 and ZIF-67 are fully charac-</div><div>terized within the context of a quantum-mechanical hindered-</div><div>rotor model. The results lend insight into the fundamental</div><div>origins of the experimentally observed methyl-rotor dynamics,</div><div>and provide valuable insight into the nature of the weak inter-</div><div>actions present within this important class of materials.</div>