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Ethynyl-Capped Hyperbranched Conjugated Polytriazole: Click Polymerization, Clickable Modification, and Aggregation-Enhanced Emission

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journal contribution
posted on 09.10.2012, 00:00 by Jian Wang, Ju Mei, Engui Zhao, Zhegang Song, Anjun Qin, Jing Zhi Sun, Ben Zhong Tang
Cu­(I)-catalyzed azide–alkyne click polymerization, developed based on the click reaction, has become a powerful tool for the construction of functional polytriazoles with linear and hyperbranched structures. This method has, however, rarely been used for the preparation of functional hyperbranched conjugated polytriazoles (hb-CPTA). In this paper, soluble ethynyl-capped hb-CPTA with weight-averaged molecular weight of 39 500 was synthesized in high yield (84.4%) by the Cu­(I)-catalyzed azide–alkyne click polymerization of tetraphenylethene containing diazide [1,2-bis­(4-azidophenyl)-1,2-diphenylethene] and tetrayne [1,1,2,2-tetrakis­(4-ethynylphenyl)­ethane] in equal concentration. By taking advantage of the ethynyl groups on its periphery, the polymer could be efficiently postfunctionalized by azide–alkyne and thiol–yne click reactions. The polymers are thermally stable and loss 5% of their weights at temperatures higher than 340.0 °C. hb-CPTA also possesses high char yield (74.8%) at 800 °C. The polymers feature the unique characteristics of aggregation-enhanced emission. Furthermore, the PL intensities of the hb-CPTA and thiol–yne postfunctionalized polytriazoles increase linearly with water fraction in THF/water mixtures. Thanks to their rigid structures, the polymers could be fabricated into unimolecular nanoparticles with sizes of ca. 100 nm. Thus, this paper provides a powerful method to synthesize soluble ethynyl-capped hyperbranched polymers, which could be a useful platform for preparation of versatile functional polymers via postreactions.