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J Am Chem Soc. 2006 Aug 23;128(33):10707-15.

Supramolecular self-assembly of dendronized polymers: reversible control of the polymer architectures through acid-base reactions.

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  • 1California NanoSystems Institute and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90095-1569, USA.


Acid-base switchable supramolecular dendronized polyacetylenes (DPAs) with increasing steric bulk on going from generation one [G1] to three [G3], were constructed using multiple self-assembly processes between Fr├ęchet-type [G1]-[G3]-dendritic dialkylammonium salts and a dibenzo[24]crown-8-containing polymer. The formation of the supramolecular systems is acid-base switchable to either an ON (rodlike dendronized polymers) or an OFF (flexible polymers) state. Thus, by controlling the superstructures of the supramolecular polymers with the [G1]-[G3] dendrons, it is possible to induce conformational changes within the polymer backbones. The supramolecular dendronized polymers, as well as their threading-dethreading properties, were characterized by (1)H NMR and UV absorption spectroscopies, gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and light scattering (LS). Independent measures of molecular weight (GPC, LS) indicate that DPAs behave as increasingly rigid macromolecules with each generation in solution. Molecular dynamics simulations of each DPA suggest that the lengths of the polymer backbones increase accordingly. Atomic force microscopy of the [G3]-dendronized polystyrene (DPS), as well as the DPAs, reveal surface morphologies indicative of aggregated superstructures.

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