Cooperative, bottom-up generation of rigid-rod nanostructures through dynamic polymer chemistry

Authors

  • J Frantz Folmer-Andersen,

    1. Laboratoire de Chimie Supramoléculaire, Institut de Science et d' Ingénierie Supramoléculaires (ISIS), Université de Strasbourg, 8 allée Gaspard Monge, 67000 Strasbourg, France
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Chemistry, The State university of New York at New Paltz, 75 S Manheim Blvd, New Paltz, NY 12561, USA.
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  • Eric Buhler,

    1. Matiére et Systémes Complexes (MSC) Laboratory, UMR CNRS 7057, Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7, 10, rue Alice Domon et Léonie Duquet, 75205 Paris cedex 13, France
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  • Sauveur-Jean Candau,

    1. Laboratoire de Chimie Supramoléculaire, Institut de Science et d' Ingénierie Supramoléculaires (ISIS), Université de Strasbourg, 8 allée Gaspard Monge, 67000 Strasbourg, France
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  • Sebastien Joulie,

    1. Electron Microscopy Team, Institut Charles Sadron, CNRS-UPR 22 6 rue Boussingault, 67083 Strasbourg Cedex, France
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  • Marc Schmutz,

    1. Electron Microscopy Team, Institut Charles Sadron, CNRS-UPR 22 6 rue Boussingault, 67083 Strasbourg Cedex, France
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  • Jean-Marie Lehn

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratoire de Chimie Supramoléculaire, Institut de Science et d' Ingénierie Supramoléculaires (ISIS), Université de Strasbourg, 8 allée Gaspard Monge, 67000 Strasbourg, France
    • Laboratoire de Chimie Supramoléculaire, Institut de Science et d' Ingénierie Supramoléculaires (ISIS), Université de Strasbourg, 8 allée Gaspard Monge, 67000 Strasbourg, France.
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Abstract

A set of carbazole- and benzene-derived di(aldehyde) and di(acylhydrazine) monomers containing hexaglyme groups to impart water solubility has been synthesized. Mixing a given di(aldehyde) and di(acylhydrazine) pair in acidic aqueous solution causes polymerization through reversible acylhydrazone condensation. The structures of the resultant amphiphilic polyacylhydrazones have been studied using 1H NMR spectroscopy, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry, small-angle neutron scattering, transmission electron microscopy, size exclusion chromatography/multi-angle laser light scattering (SEC-MALLS) and UV-visible and fluorescence spectrophotometries. All the available data support the existence of structurally related rod-like nanostructures of variable lengths and constant diameters of approximately 5 nm in all cases, which are interpreted as corresponding to individually folded polymer chains. On the basis of these studies, molecular models are proposed in which the hydrophobic, aromatic polymer backbones assume helical conformations allowing for hydrophobically driven π-stacking, while exposing the hydrophilic hexaglyme groups to the solvent. The molecular models are in agreement with the observed physical dimensions of the nanostructures, and are further supported by the observation of strong hypochromic effects on changing the solvent from dimethylformamide to water. Additionally, the reversible polymerization process is found to be cooperative. 1H NMR and SEC-MALLS studies reveal severe deviations from statistically predicted product distributions under imbalanced stoichiometry, which are characteristic of nucleation–elongation behaviour. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry

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