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Stereoselective Primary and Secondary Nucleation Events in Multicomponent Seeded Supramolecular Polymerization

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journal contribution
posted on 26.07.2021, 09:29 authored by Souvik Sarkar, Aritra Sarkar, Arka Som, Sarit S. Agasti, Subi J. George
Bioinspired, kinetically controlled seeded growth has been recently shown to provide length, dispersity, and sequence control on the primary structure of dynamic supramolecular polymers. However, command over the molecular organization at all hierarchical levels for the modulation of higher order structures of supramolecular polymers remains a formidable task. In this context, a surface-catalyzed secondary nucleation process, which plays an important role in the autocatalytic generation of amyloid fibrils and also during the chiral crystallization of small monomers, offers exciting possibilities for topology control in synthetic macromolecular systems by introducing secondary growth pathways compared to the usual primary nucleation–elongation process. However, mechanistic insights into the molecular determinants and driving forces for the secondary nucleation event in synthetic systems are not yet realized. Herein, we attempt to fill this dearth by showing an unprecedented molecular chirality control on the primary and secondary nucleation events in seed-induced supramolecular polymerization. Comprehensive kinetic experiments using in situ spectroscopic probing of the temporal changes of the monomer organization during the growth process provide a unique study to characterize the primary and secondary nucleation events in a supramolecular polymerization process. Kinetic analyses along with various microscopic studies further reveal the remarkable effect of stereoselective nucleation and seeding events on the (micro)­structural aspects of the resulting multicomponent supramolecular polymers.