Direct Observation of Confined I⋅⋅⋅I2⋅⋅⋅I Interactions in a Metal–Organic Framework: Iodine Capture and Sensing

Yue Qiao Hu, Mu Qing Li, Yanyan Wang, Tao Zhang, Pei Qin Liao, Zhiping Zheng, Xiao Ming Chen, Yan Zhen Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Herein a strategy is reported for capturing and sensing iodine by strong I⋅⋅⋅I2⋅⋅⋅I interaction, confined in a metal-organic framework, [Tb(Cu4I4)(ina)3(DMF)] (1) (ina=isonicotinate). As revealed by single-crystal X-ray crystallography, the uptaken I2 molecules directly contact the {Cu4I4}n chains, virtually forming an electronically polarizable tetraiodide anion (I4 2−) through strong I⋅⋅⋅I2⋅⋅⋅I interaction. As such, a quasi-copper-iodide layer of {Cu4I5}n with semiconducting characteristics results, leading to a significant enhancement (Δσ=107 times) in electrical conductivity over the I2-free 1. The effect observed is several orders of magnitude higher than those reported due to iodine⋅⋅⋅aromatic interactions (Δσ=102 times) and by interactions between I2 and a redox-active metal centre (Δσ=104 times). The drastic enhancement in electrical conductivity was used to switch on/off an LED bulb, suggesting the possibility of electrically sensing I2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8409-8413
Number of pages5
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number35
StatePublished - Jun 22 2017


  • chemiresistive sensor
  • crystallography
  • electric conductivity
  • iodine
  • metal-organic frameworks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Direct Observation of Confined I<sup>−</sup>⋅⋅⋅I<sub>2</sub>⋅⋅⋅I<sup>−</sup> Interactions in a Metal–Organic Framework: Iodine Capture and Sensing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this