Inversion of dispersion: Colloidal stability of calixarene modified metal-organic framework nanoparticles in non-polar media

U. Jeong, N. A. Dogan, M. Garai, T. S. Nguyen, J. F. Stoddart, C. T. Yavuz* 
J. Am. Chem. Soc., accepted, (2019).
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b04198

Making metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) which are stabilized in non-polar media is not as straightforward as their inorganic nanoparticle counterparts, since surfactants penetrate through the porous structures or dissolve the secondary building units (SBUs) through ligand-exchange linker modulator mechanisms. Herein we report that calixarenes stabilize UIO-66 nanoparticles effectively by remaining outside the grains through size exclusion, without pores becoming blocked, all the while providing amphiphilicity that permits the formation of stable colloidal dispersions with much narrower size distributions. Using the UIO-66 dispersed solutions, we showed that smooth films from an otherwise immiscible polystyrene can be made feasibly.
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