New Progress on Supramolecular Polymer

Prof. Xi Zhang and his group in our department developed a new idea of utilizing multiple host-stabilized charge transfer (HSCT) interactions and succeeded in fabricating supramolecular polymer with high polymerization degree.

Supramolecular polymers can be constructed by connecting monomers together by directional non-covalent interactions, which are known as dynamic and reversible nature, endowing polymer with new functions such as degradability, reversibility, stimuli-responsiveness. However the non-covalent interaction must be strong enough in order to obtain supramolecular polymer of high molecular weight. Due to its weak strength, the construction of supramolcular polymer by charge-transfer interactions is seldom reported. Moreover, owing to the general low solubility of the charge-transfer components, the preparation of supramolecular polymer based on charge-transfer interaction in water is even challenging.

Prof. Xi Zhang and his coworkers synthesized a well-designed monomer, DADV, as shown in the picture, to realize multiple HSCT with high bonding constant, meanwhile, making HSCT interaction high orientation selectivity, providing the formation of the 1:1 and 2:2 cyclic species which can suppresse the formation of polymeric species.

As soon as the work was published on Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2010, 49, 6576-6579, it had brought attentions and appreciations from many research groups, the article was chosen as hot article by the journal.