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J Am Chem Soc. 2007 Sep 12;129(36):11265-78. Epub 2007 Aug 17.

Expanding the structural diversity of self-assembling dendrons and supramolecular dendrimers via complex building blocks.

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Roy & Diana Vagelos Laboratories, Department of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6323, USA.


The design and synthesis of the first examples of AB4 and AB5 dendritic building blocks with complex architecture are reported. Structural and retrostructural analysis of supramolecular dendrimers self-assembled from hybrid dendrons based on different combinations of AB4 and AB5 building blocks with AB2 and AB3 benzyl ether dendrons demonstrated that none of these new hybrid dendrons exhibit the previously encountered conformations of libraries of benzyl ether dendrons. These hybrid dendrons enabled the discovery of some highly unusual tapered and conical dendrons generated by the intramolecular back-folding of their repeat units and of their apex. The new back-folded tapered dendrons have double thickness and self-assemble into pine-tree-like columns exhibiting a long-range 7/2 helical order. The back-folded conical dendrons self-assemble into spherical dendrimers. Non-back-folded truncated conical dendrons were also discovered. They self-assemble into spherical dendrimers with a less densely packed center. The discovery of dendrons displaying a novel crown-like conformation is also reported. Crown-like dendrons self-assemble into long-range 5/1 helical pyramidal columns. The long-range 7/2 and 5/1 helical structures were established by applying, for the first time, the helical diffraction theory to the analysis of X-ray patterns obtained from oriented fibers of supramolecular dendrimers.

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