: The use of the V-shaped linker molecules 4,4'-oxydibenzoic acid (H2ODB) and 4,4'-carbonyldibenzoic acid (H2CDB) led to the discovery of two isoreticular Ce(IV)-based metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) of composition [CeO(H2O)(L)], L = ODB2-, CDB2-, denoted CAU-58 (CAU = Christian-Albrechts-University). The recently developed Ce-MOF synthesis approach in acetonitrile as the solvent proved effective in accessing Ce(IV)-MOF structures with infinite rod-shaped inorganic building units (IBUs) and circumventing the formation of the predominantly observed hexanuclear [Ce6O8] cluster. For the structure determination of the isoreticular MOFs, three-dimensional electron diffraction (3D ED) and powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) data were used in combination with density functional theory (DFT) calculations. [CeO(H2O)(CDB)] shows reversible H2O adsorption by stirring in water and thermal treatment at 190 °C, which leads to a unit cell volume change of 11%. The MOFs feature high thermal stabilities (T > 290 °C), which exceed those of most Ce(IV)-MOFs and can be attributed to the infinite rod-shaped IBU. Surface and bulk oxidation states of the cerium ions were analyzed via X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES). While Ce(III) ions are observed by the highly surface-sensitive XPS method, the bulk material contains predominantly Ce(IV) ions according to XANES. Application of the MOFs as catalysts for the catalytic degradation of methyl orange in aqueous solutions was also studied. While degradation activity for both MOFs was observed, only CAU-58-ODB revealed enhanced photocatalytic activity under ultraviolet (UV) light. The photocatalytic mechanism likely involves a ligand-to-metal charge transfer (LMCT) from the linkers to the Ce(IV) centers. Analyses by XANES and inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) demonstrate that leaching of Cerium ions as well as partial reduction of Ce(IV) to Ce(III) takes place during catalysis. At the same time, PXRD data confirm the structural stability of the remaining MOF catalysts.
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