Unravelling the molecular structure and confinement of an or-ganometallic catalyst heterogenized within amorphous porous polymers

30 August 2022, Version 1


The catalytic activity of multifunctional microporous materials is directly linked to the spatial arrangement of their struc-tural building blocks. Despite great achievements in the design and use of isolated catalytic sites within such materials, the precise determination of their atomic-level structure and their local environment still remains a fundamental chal-lenge, especially when they are hosted in non-crystalline solids. Here, we show that by combining NMR measurements with pair distribution function (PDF) analysis and computational chemistry, a very accurate picture of the organometallic Cp*Rh catalytic sites inside the cavity of porous organic polymers can be determined. Two microporous supports based on bipyridine and biphenyl motifs functionalized with NH2 or NO2 groups were considered. Making use of differential PDF, Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) enhanced solid-state NMR spectroscopy on 15N labelled–NH2 and –NO2 materi-als, and 129Xe NMR, the detailed structure of the heterogenized organometallic complex and its confinement within the amorphous porous organic polymers is revealed with a precision of 0.1 Å, fully matched by the computed models. While the same well-defined molecular structure is observed for the organometallic catalyst independently of the functionalisa-tion of the porous organic polymer, subtle changes are detected in the average ligand-pore wall distance and interactions in the two materials.


Molecular Structure
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Dynamic Nuclear Polarization
Pair Distribution Function

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information
Detailed experimental procedures, materials and instruments used as well as addition material characterization.


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