Metal-organic frameworks (MOF) are becoming a more and more important class of functional materials. Yet, very often, the synthesis of MOFs is not easy to control and requires a profound knowledge and experience in solid state chemistry. One of the most frequently used metal connectors is the so-called 'paddle-wheel' (PW) unit, which is a well-known molecular compound type in inorganic coordination chemistry. Depending on the ligands, the geometry of PWs strictly directs the assembly of ordered networks. This review focuses on the question, to what extent ordered network structures can be accessed by typical molecular syntheses in solution, starting from molecular PW complexes to ordered macromolecules, finite cage compounds and finally, three-dimensional superstructures.
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