Functional nanostructures by NiCCo-PISA of helical poly(aryl isocyanide) copolymers

Sètuhn Jimaja, Yujie Xie, Jeffrey C. Foster, Daniel Taton, Andrew P. Dove, Rachel K. O'reilly

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Herein, we present a straightforward and versatile methodology to achieve functional polymeric nano-objects that contain helical cores. Nickel-catalysed coordination polymerisation-induced self-assembly (NiCCo-PISA) of helical poly(aryl isocyanide) amphiphilic diblock copolymers was conducted, affording micelles containing controllable quantities of activated ester groups (i.e. pentafluorophenyl esters) in the core that were subsequently modified using post-polymerisation modification (PPM) with amine nucleophiles. Three amines bearing different functionalities (alcohol, trifluoro and a maleimide dye) were successfully introduced into the nano-object cores as verified via NMR and FT-IR spectroscopy, while the retention of helicity within the resulting diblock copolymers was confirmed by circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. Changes in nanostructure morphology following modification were monitored by dynamic light-scattering (DLS), confirming the disassembly of the nano-objects when the core hydrophilicity was increased through the introduction of polar functionalities. These readily-synthesised and modified nanostructures containing helical cores are valuable scaffolds for use in applications such as circularly polarised luminescence, enantioselective chemistry or chiral separation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolymer Chemistry
Early online date23 Jul 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jul 2020


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