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J Am Chem Soc. 2006 May 3;128(17):5923-9.

Chiral amphiphilic self-assembled alpha,alpha'-linked quinque-, sexi-, and septithiophenes: synthesis, stability and odd-even effects.

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  • 1IRC in Polymer Science and Technology, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK.


The synthesis, characterization, and self-assembly in butanol of a series of well-defined alpha,alpha'-linked quinqui-, sexi-, and septithiophenes substituted, via ester links at their termini, by chiral oligo(ethylene oxide) chains carrying an alpha, beta, delta, and epsilon methyl, respectively, are reported. Studies of the self-assembly of these molecules using UV/visible absorption, luminescence, and circular dichroism spectroscopies reveal, for the sexithiophene case, that the magnitude of the observed Cotton effect in the aggregates diminishes progressively as the chiral substituent is moved away from the thiophene segment. The stability of the assemblies increases with the length of the oligothiophene and as the substituent chiral unit is moved away from the aromatic core, being greatest for the unsubstituted case. The sign of the Cotton effect alternates in an "odd/even" manner as the position of the chiral substituent is moved along the oligo(ethylene oxide) chain and on going from the quinquethiophene to the septithiophene having the same side chain. Atomic force microscopy on materials deposited from solution on an aluminum or glass surface and optical measurements show that capsules are formed from the oligothiophenes with H-type packing of the aromatic segments.

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