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J Am Chem Soc. 2002 Jul 10;124(27):7943-9.

Electron-induced switching of the supramolecular chirality of optically active polythiophene aggregates.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Design and Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8603, Japan.


A chiral regioregular polythiophene (PT), poly[3-[4-((R)-4-ethyl-2-oxazolin-2-yl)phenyl]thiophene] (poly-1), forms chiral aggregates which exhibit a unique induced circular dichroism (ICD) in the pi-pi transition region derived from the supramolecular chirality in the presence of various poor solvents or metal salts in chloroform. We report here that the chirality of such supramolecular aggregates can be switched ("on" and "off") through electron transfer. We have found that upon the addition of copper(II) trifluoromethanesulfonate [Cu(OTf)(2)] to the chiral aggregates of poly-1 in a chloroform-acetonitrile mixture, the ICD disappears because of the oxidative doping of the poly-1 main chain, while a further addition of amines such as triethylenetetramine (TETA) induces undoping of the poly-1 which results in the reappearance of the ICDs. Therefore, the supramolecular chirality of the poly-1 assemblies was reversibly controlled by the addition or removal of an electron from the poly-1 main chain. This may be the first example of a reversible supramolecular chirality switch on chiral PT aggregates. We investigated the mechanism of the chirality switch through the doping and undoping process on the polymer main chain by means of absorption and CD spectroscopies, ESR, cyclic voltammetry, X-ray diffraction, and AFM measurements.

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