Consequences of chirality on the dynamics of a water-soluble supramolecular polymer

Baker, Matthew B.; Albertazzi, Lorenzo; Voets, Ilja K.; Leenders, Christianus MA; Palmans, Anja RA; Pavan, Giovanni M.; Meijer, E. W.
Nature communications, 2015

The rational design of supramolecular polymers in ​water is imperative for their widespread use, but the design principles for these systems are not well understood. Herein, we employ a multi-scale (spatial and temporal) approach to differentiate two analogous ​water-soluble supramolecular polymers: one with and one without a stereogenic methyl. Initially aiming simply to understand the molecular behaviour of these systems in ​water, we find that while the fibres may look identical, the introduction of homochirality imparts a higher level of internal order to the supramolecular polymer. Although this increased order does not seem to affect the basic dimensions of the supramolecular fibres, the equilibrium dynamics of the polymers differ by almost an order of magnitude. This report represents the first observation of a structure/property relationship with regard to equilibrium dynamics in ​water-soluble supramolecular polymers.

Overview of molecular and supramolecular structures used in this study.

KEYWORDS: Self-assembly