Precise Amphiphilic Giant Polymeric Chain Based on Nanosized Monomers with Exact Regio-Configuration
Zhongguo Liu, Xin Chen, Ze Yang, Shuai Wang, Zhanhui Gan, Gang Li, and Xue-Hui Dong*
ACS Nano 2021, 15, 7, 12367–12374
Polymeric chains made of “giant” monomers at a larger length scale provide intriguing insights into the fundamental principles of polymer science. In this study, we modularly prepared a library of discrete amphiphilic polymeric chains using molecular nanoparticles as repeat units, with exact control of composition, chain length, surface property, and regio-configuration. These giant polymeric chains self-assembled into a rich collection of highly ordered phases. The precise chemical structure and uniform chain length eliminate all the inherent molecular “defects”, while the nanosized monomer amplifies minute structural differences, providing an ideal platform for a systematic scrutiny of the self-assembly behaviors at a larger length scale. The compositional and regio-configurational contribution was carefully studied. The regio-regularity is found to have a direct and profound impact on the chain conformation, leading to a distinct molecular packing scheme and therefore shifting the phase boundaries. With increasing the length of the linker, the regio-constraint gradually diminishes, and the neighboring particles would eventually be decoupled.