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Morphology-Controlled Self-Assembly and Synthesis of Biopolyimide Particles from 4‑Amino‑l‑phenylalanine

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journal contribution
posted on 03.02.2020, 09:29 by Thawinda Hirayama, Amit Kumar, Kenji Takada, Tatsuo Kaneko
Self-assembling polyimides (PIs) having diketopiperazine (DKP) components were synthesized by polycondensation of a 4-amino-l-phenylalanine (4APhe) dimer, an aromatic diamine newly designed in this study. The amino acid-derived PIs showed high thermal resistance, with a 10% weight loss temperature (Td10) of 432 °C at the maximum, and did not show any glass transition below the thermal decomposition temperature. The poly­(amic acid) (PAA) precursors formed nanospheres upon reprecipitation over dimethylacetamide into water. The nanospheres were then added to solvents with different polarities and sonicated to induce deformation of the spherical forms into spiky balls, flakes, or rods. The PAA particle morphologies were retained in the PIs after the two-step imidization. Finally, the PI particles with self-assembling DKP moieties were formed, and their morphologies were fine-tuned using different mixed solvents.