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Organic Foldamers and Helices


  1. Ivan Huc1,
  2. Hua Jiang2

Published Online: 15 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470661345.smc082

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

How to Cite

Huc, I. and Jiang, H. 2012. Organic Foldamers and Helices. Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Université de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France

  2. 2

    Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2012


This chapter gives an overview of the rapidly developing field of foldamers defined as artificial folded molecular architectures. Research in the field of synthetic foldamers aims at designing, preparing, and characterizing nonnatural oligomers that are able to adopt well-defined conformations often inspired by, but not necessarily identical to, those of biopolymers. Hence, foldamers offer hope to rival their natural counterparts in terms of their functions and applications. Folding at the molecular level is a self-process that is governed by a variety of internal and external parameters, including monomer structure, linkage orientation, local or remote intramolecular interactions, solvent effects, aggregation, and host-guest complexation. Foldamers may form diverse secondary structures, in particular, helices, tertiary and even quaternary structures, and some superstructures such as nanofibers. They show high potential as scaffolds for molecular recognition and catalysis; they also show potential for biological applications, though this latter aspect is not detailed here.


  • folding;
  • noncovalent interactions helix;
  • self-organization;
  • self-assembly;
  • molecular recognition;
  • catalysis;
  • aggregation