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J Am Chem Soc. 2002 Jul 17;124(28):8337-47.

Synthesis, characterization, and optical properties of monodisperse chiral oligofluorenes.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Center for Optoelectronics and Imaging, University of Rochester, 240 East River Road, Rochester, New York 14623-1212, USA.


The first series of monodisperse chiral oligofluorenes was synthesized and characterized. Chain length was found to play an important role in solid morphology. Whereas dimer through tetramer are amorphous, pentamer through hexadecamer all show cholesteric mesomorphism with varying degrees of morphological stability against crystallization. Pristine spin-cast films, approximately 90 nm in thickness, are amorphous but exhibit pronounced circular dichroism and highly efficient circularly polarized fluorescence, suggesting the presence of chiral assemblies that remain to be experimentally characterized. A nonamer with two sets of the 2S-methylbutyl group replaced by the 3S,7-dimethyloctyl group was prepared and shown to be capable of forming a monodomain, glassy cholesteric film with thermal treatment. The cholesteric film is responsible for an order-of-magnitude increase in circular dichroism and a handedness reversal in circularly polarized fluorescence as compared to the amorphous pristine film. Molecular dynamics simulation furnished new insight into the molecular origin of the observed chiral optical properties in neat films.

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