Confinement of Luminescent Guests in Metal-Organic Frameworks: Understanding Pathways from Synthesis and Multimodal Characterization to Potential Applications of LG@MOF Systems

08 March 2022, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


This review gives an authoritative, critical, and accessible overview of an emergent class of fluorescent materials termed “LG@MOF” — engineered from the nanoscale confinement of luminescent guests (LG) in a metal-organic framework (MOF) host, realizing a myriad of unconventional materials with fascinating photophysical and photochemical properties. We begin by summarizing the synthetic methodologies and design guidelines for representative LG@MOF systems, where the major types of fluorescent guest encompass organic dyes, metal ions, metal complexes, metal nanoclusters, quantum dots, and hybrid perovskites. Subsequently, we discuss the methods for characterizing the resultant guest-host structures, guest loading, photophysical properties, and review local-scale techniques recently employed to elucidate guest positions. A special emphasis is paid to the pros & cons of the various methods in the context of LG@MOF. In the following section, we provide a brief tutorial on the basic guest-host phenomena, focusing on the excited state events and nanoscale confinement effects underpinning the exceptional behavior of LG@MOF systems. The review finally culminates in the most striking applications of LG@MOF materials, particularly the “turn-on” type fluorochromic chemo- and mechano-sensors, non-invasive thermometry and optical pH sensors, electroluminescence and innovative security devices. This review offers a comprehensive coverage of general interest to the multidisciplinary materials community to stimulate frontier research in the vibrant sector of light-emitting MOF composite systems.


Luminescent guest (LG)
Metal-organic framework (MOF)
LG@MOF composite
Guest-host Interaction
Excited state phenomena


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