A unique feature of synthetic helical polymers for the detection and amplification of chirality is briefly described in this article. In sharp contrast to host–guest and supramolecular systems that use small synthetic receptor molecules, chirality can be significantly amplified in a helical polymer, such as poly(phenylacetylene)s with functional pendants, which enable the detection of a tiny imbalance in biologically important chiral molecules through a noncovalent bonding interaction with high cooperativity. The rational design of polymeric receptors can be possible by using chromophoric helical polymers combined with functional groups as the pendants, which target particular chiral guest molecules for developing a highly efficient chirality-sensing system. The chirality sensing of other small molecular and supramolecular systems is also briefly described for comparison.
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