American Chemical Society
ja2c12894_si_001.pdf (3.7 MB)

Pathway Complexity in Supramolecular Copolymerization and Blocky Star Copolymers by a Hetero-Seeding Effect

Download (3.7 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-17, 04:43 authored by Payel Khanra, Ajeet Kumar Singh, Lisa Roy, Anindita Das
This study unravels the intricate kinetic and thermodynamic pathways involved in the supramolecular copolymerization of the two chiral dipolar naphthalene monoimide (NMI) building blocks (O-NMI and S-NMI), differing merely by a single heteroatom (oxygen vs sulfur). O-NMI exhibits distinct supramolecular polymerization features as compared to S-NMI in terms of its pathway complexity, hierarchical organization, and chiroptical properties. Two distinct self-assembly pathways in O-NMI occur due to the interplay between the competing dipolar interactions among the NMI chromophores and amide–amide hydrogen (H)-bonding that engenders distinct nanotapes and helical fibers, from its antiparallel and parallel stacking modes, respectively. In contrast, the propensity of S-NMI to form only a stable spherical assembly is ascribed to its much stronger amide–amide H-bonding, which outperforms other competing interactions. Under the thermodynamic route, an equimolar mixture of the two monomers generates a temporally controlled chiral statistical supramolecular copolymer that autocatalytically evolves from an initially formed metastable spherical heterostructure. In contrast, the sequence-controlled addition of the two monomers leads to the kinetically driven hetero-seeded block copolymerization. The ability to trap O-NMI in a metastable state allows its secondary nucleation from the surface of the thermodynamically stable S-NMI spherical “seed”, which leads to the core-multiarmed “star” copolymer with reversibly and temporally controllable length of the growing O-NMI “arms” from the S-NMI “core”. Unlike the one-dimensional self-assembly of O-NMI and its random co-assembly with S-NMI, which are both chiral, unprecedentedly, the preferred helical bias of the nucleating O-NMI fibers is completely inhibited by the absence of stereoregularity of the S-NMI “seed” in the “star” topology.