Langmuir, 2018, vol 34, 1, pp. 425-431
We present experimental results demonstrating the suitability of polyelectrolyte capping as a simple and straightforward procedure to modify hydrophilic/hydrophobic character of porous films, thus allowing additional control on transport properties. In particular, we synthesized ZIF-8 metal organic framework (MOF) films, an archetypal hydrophobic zeolitic imidazolate framework, constituted by Zn2+ ions tetrahedrally coordinated with bidentate 2-methylimidazolate organic linker, and poly(4-styrenesulfonic acid) as capping agent (PSS). MOF films were synthesized via sequential one pot (SOP) steps over conductive substrates conveniently modified with primer agents known to enhance heterogeneous nucleation, followed by dip-coating with PSS aqueous solutions. Crystallinity, morphology, and chemical composition of ZIF-8 films were confirmed with traditional methods. Continuous electron density depth profile obtained with synchrotron light X-ray reflectivity (XRR) technique, suggest that PSS capped-films do not adopt segregated configurations in which PSS remains surface-confined. This affects functional properties conferred by PSS capping, which were assessed using cyclic voltammetry with both positively and negatively charged redox probe molecules. Furthermore, taking advantage of the control attained, we successfully carried in situ synthesis of film-hosted d-block metal nanoparticles (Au and [email protected]+PSS) via direct aqueous chemical reduction of precursors (diffusion-reaction approach).