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Controlled Synthesis and Supramolecular Organization of Conjugated Star-Shaped Polymers

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journal contribution
posted on 24.10.2018, 18:55 by Marie-Paule Van Den Eede, Julien De Winter, Pascal Gerbaux, Joan Teyssandier, Steven De Feyter, Cédric Van Goethem, Ivo F. J. Vankelecom, Guy Koeckelberghs
Through the incorporation of chiral and achiral poly­(3-alkylthiophenes) (P3ATs) into a star-shaped system, a well-defined supramolecular organization is obtained lacking the unfavorable linear lamellar structure typically obtained for P3AT. Through the combination of a controlled chain-growth polymerization and efficient postpolymerization and click reactions, well-defined star-shaped P3ATs with a low dispersity of 1.1 were obtained. The combination of UV–vis, circular dichroism (CD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) measurements showed the formation of a strong (chiral) supramolecular organization into fibers, different and stronger than those obtained with the linear P3ATs. The fact that the width of the fibers is in good agreement with the width of a single star-shaped P3AT excludes the formation of a linear lamellar structure. Furthermore, the particular supramolecular organization of the star-shaped polymers, which appears thanks to the precision polymer synthesis, triggers properties of the arms of the star-shaped molecule that are not present in the individual arms.