Optical absorption properties of metal-organic frameworks: Solid state: Versus molecular perspective
The vast chemical space of metal and ligand combinations in Transition Metal Complexes (TMCs) gives rise to a rich variety of electronic excited states with local and non-local character such as intra-ligand (IL), metal-centered (MC), metal-to-ligand (MLCT) or ligand-to-metal charge-transfer (LMCT) states. Those features are equally found in metal organic frameworks (MOFs), defined as modular materials built from metal-nodes connected through organic-ligands. Because of the electronic and structural complexity of MOFs, the computational description of their excited states is a formidable challenge for which two different approaches have been usually followed: the solid state and the molecular perspective. The first consists in analysing the frontier electronic bands and crystal orbitals of the electronic ground state (GS) in periodic boundary conditions, while the latter points to an accurate computation of the excited states in representative clusters at the molecular level. Herein, we apply both approaches to evaluate the optical absorption properties of three experimentally reported Ti(iv) mononuclear MOFs with in silico metal substitutions with Zn(ii), Cd(ii), Fe(ii), Ru(ii) and Zr(iv) ions, thus covering d10, d6 and d0 electronic configurations of 1st and 2nd row TMCs in MOFs. Our analysis captures the main electronic features attributed to these systems while we discuss the main advantages and drawbacks of both approximations.