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Thermodynamics of Supramolecular Naphthalenediimide Nanotube Formation: The Influence of Solvents, Side Chains, and Guest Templates

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posted on 11.01.2012, 00:00 by Nandhini Ponnuswamy, G. Dan Pantoş, Maarten M. J. Smulders, Jeremy K. M. Sanders
Amino-acid functionalized naphthalenediimides self-assemble into hydrogen-bonded supramolecular helical nanotubes via a noncooperative, isodesmic process; the self-assembly of ordered helical systems is usually realized through a cooperative process. This unexpected behavior was rationalized as a manifestation of entropy–enthalpy compensation. Fundamental insights into the thermodynamics governing this self-assembly were obtained through the fitting of the isodesmic model to 1H NMR spectrometry and circular dichroism spectroscopy measurements. Furthermore, we have extended the application of this mathematical model, for the first time, to quantitatively estimate the effect of guests, solvents, and side chains on the stability of the supramolecular nanotube; most significantly, we demonstrate that C60 acts as a template to stabilize the nanotube assembly and thereby substantially increase the degree of polymerization.