Dynamic Surface Modification of Metal–Organic Framework Nanoparticles via Alkoxyamine Functional Groups,
Spiegel, S. / Wagner, I. / Begum, S. / Schwotzer, M. / Wessely, I. / Bräse, S. / Tsotsalas, M. (2022)
Langmuir 2022, 38, 21, 6531–6538, doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.2c00085
- Date: Mai 2022
External surface engineering of metal–organic framework nanoparticles (MOF NPs) is emerging as an important design strategy, leading to optimized chemical and colloidal stability. To date, most of the MOF surface modifications have been performed either by physical adsorption or chemical association of small molecules or (preformed) polymers. However, most of the currently employed approaches cannot precisely control the polymer density, and dynamic modifications at the surfaces on demand have been a challenging task. Here, we introduce a general approach based on covalent modification employing alkoxyamines as a versatile tool to modify the outer surface of MOF nanoparticles (NPs). The alkoxyamines serve as initiators to grow polymers from the MOF surface via nitroxide-mediated polymerization (NMP) and allow dynamic attachment of small molecules via a nitroxide exchange reaction (NER). The successful surface modification and successive surface polymerization are confirmed via time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), size exclusion chromatography (SEC), and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The functionalized MOF NPs exhibit high suspension stability and good dispersibility while retaining their chemical integrity and crystalline structure. In addition, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR) studies prove the dynamic exchange of two different nitroxide species via NER and further allow us to quantify the surface modification with high sensitivity. Our results demonstrate that alkoxyamines serve as a versatile tool to dynamically modify the surface of MOF NPs with high precision, allowing us to tailor their properties for a wide range of potential applications, such as drug delivery or mixed matrix membranes.