Superhelices with tunable twisting power directed from supramolecular pairing of focal asymmetry in achiral dendron-jacketed block copolymers

I. Ming Lin, Che Min Chou, Ming Chia Li, Rong Hao Guo, Cheng Kuang Lee, Han Jung Li, Yeo Wan Chiang*, Yi Hung Lin, Yao Chang Lee, Chun Jen Su, U. Ser Jeng, Wei Tsung Chuang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The formation of helical assemblies from achiral supramacromolecules has been a highly mysterious process, but is of interest for the generation of a variety of structures and properties. Herein, novel hierarchical superhelices are developed from self-assembly of achiral dendron-jacketed block copolymers (DJBCPs). The presence of focal asymmetry in both the stereochemistry of the dendrons (donors) and interactive binding sites of the copolymer chains (acceptors) plays a pivotal role in generating a spontaneous symmetry breaking through tailored donor-acceptor matching via hydrogen bonding. The focal asymmetry, on a scale of several nanometers, propagates to helical twists of the achiral DJBCP hierarchical assemblies over hundreds of nanometers, such that the primary molecular asymmetry sequentially triggers a secondary helical conformation of the dendron-jacketed blocks, then tertiary supramolecular helical assemblies and eventually quaternary superhelices. The helical twisting power of the superhelices is tunable using the dendron grafting ratio, indicating that the magnitude of helical twisting can be quantitatively adjusted from local to entire structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1923-1932
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry C
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 14 Feb 2020

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