In this study, Leibler and co-workers reported on the subtle influence of solvent on the organization of supramolecular polymers. They synthesized homotelechelic and heterotelechelic oligomers of poly(propylene oxide) (PPO) equipped with complementary hydrogen bonding functional ends, thymine (Thy) and diaminotriazine (DAT). In a solvent that dissociates Thy–DAT hydrogen bonds, such as DMSO, the viscosity was low for all functional telechelic oligomers. In non-dissociative solvents, the addition of functional oligomers increased the viscosity. For both the homotelechelic blends and the heterotelechelics, the viscosity in toluene was about two times higher than that in chloroform. Additionally, the Thy–DAT association constant was 22 times higher. Carbon relaxation times measured by NMR and viscosity variation for solutions of different concentrations suggest a distinct supramolecular organization in chloroform and toluene: linear and cyclic supramolecular chains in chloroform and small π-stacked objects with a PPO shell and a Thy, DAT core in toluene. One might expect that when the materials are obtained by solvent evaporation, the organization in the bulk is solvent dependent as this is often the case for ABC block copolymers.
Binding and supramolecular organization of homo- and heterotelechelic oligomers in solutions by Jessalyn Cortese, Corinne Soulié-Ziakovic and Ludwik Leibler Polym. Chem. 2014, 5, 116-125.
Julien Nicolas is a web-writer and advisory board member for Polymer Chemistry. He currently works at Univ. Paris-Sud (FR) as a CNRS researcher.