S. Beyer, R. Schürmann, I. Feldmann, A. Blocki, I. Bald, R. J. Schneider, F. Emmerling
Equipping ZIF particles with a polyelectrolyte membrane provides functional groups at their interface, enabling further conjugations necessary for applications such as targeted drug delivery. Previous approaches to coat ZIF particles with polyelectrolytes led to surface corrosion of the template material. This work overcomes previous limitations by performing a Layer-by-Layer (LbL) polyelectrolyte coating onto ZIF-8 and ZIF-67 particles in non-aqueous environment. Using the 2-methylimidazolium salt of polystyrensulfonic acid instead of the acid itself and polyethyleneimine in methanol led to intact ZIF particles after polyelectrolyte coating. This was verified by electron microscopy. Further, zetapotential and atomic force microscopy measurements confirmed a continuous polyelectrolyte multilayer built up. The here reported adaption to the well-studied (LbL) polyelectrolyte self-assembly process provides a facile method to equip ZIF particles with a nanometer thin polyelectrolyte multilayer membrane.