A full paper — published by Postdoctoral Fellow Yuanning Feng collaborating with former Visiting Professor Douglas Philp — entitled “A Molecular Replication Process Drives Supramolecular Polymerization” has been featured as a Spotlight in Issue 41 of the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS).
This paper describes the design and synthesis of a linear supramolecular polymer capable of templating its own formation. The monomeric unit from which the polymer is constructed contains a pair of complementary dual hydrogen bond recognition sites with very high binding affinities that are utilized in the self-assembly process. The hydrogen bond arrays are linked by a rigid terphenylene spacer which prevents intramolecular self-folding, critical to the material properties of the resultant polymer. An autocatalytic cycle drives a template-directed 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reaction, promoting polymerization in solution. Comprehensive kinetic analyses have been performed to establish the efficiency of the individual autocatalytic pathways that are operational within the system, thereby characterizing the key self-replication process in this polymerization process.
The JACS Spotlight of this work, entitled “Supramolecular Polymers: Stuck Together Like Monomers of a Polymer” which was written by Rebecca Yardley, noted that: “This proof-of-concept study demonstrates the coupling of molecular and supramolecular syntheses. In the future, targeting tri- or even tetra-functional monomers should allow this self-synthesis approach to be extended to 2D and 3D designer supramolecular materials.”
Well done Yuanning. Nice work!
Pictured below – Yuanning Feng alongside the TOC for his JACS Spotlight paper: