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Load–Collapse–Release Cascades of Amphiphilic Guest Molecules in Charged Dendronized Polymers through Spatial Separation of Noncovalent Forces

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Abstract

The ability to pack guest molecules into charged dendronized polymers (denpols) and the possibility to release these guest molecules from subsequently densely aggregated denpols in a load–collapse–release cascade is described. Charged denpols, which constitute molecular objects with a persistent, well-defined envelope and interior, are capable of incorporating large amounts of amphiphilic guest molecules. Simultaneously, multivalent ions can coordinate to the surfaces of charged denpols, leading to counterion-induced aggregation of the already guest-loaded host structures. Thus, although the local guest concentration in denpol-based molecular transport might already be initially high due to the dense guest packing inside the dendritic denpol scaffolding, the “local” guest concentration can nonetheless be further increased by packing (through aggregation) of the host–guest complexes themselves. Subsequent release of guest compounds from densely aggregated dendronized polymers is then possible (e.g., through increasing the solution concentration of imidazolium-based ions). Augmented with this release possibility, the concept of twofold packing of guests, firstly through hosting itself and secondly through aggregation of the hosts, gives rise to a load–collapse–release cascade that strikingly displays the high potential of dendronized macromolecules for future molecular transport applications.

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