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Integration of molecular machines into supramolecular materials: actuation between equilibrium polymers and crystal-like gels

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Abstract

In this article, the dynamic structure of complex supramolecular polymers composed of bistable [c2]daisy chain rotaxanes as molecular machines that are linked by ureidopyrimidinones (Upy) as recognition moieties was studied. pH actuation of the integrated mechanically active rotaxanes controls the contraction/extension of the polymer chains as well as their physical reticulation. Small-angle neutron and X-ray scattering were used to study in-depth the nanostructure of the contracted and extended polymer aggregates in toluene solution. The supramolecular polymers comprising contracted nanomachines were found to be equilibrium polymers with a mass that is concentration dependent in dilute and semidilute regimes. Surprisingly, the extended polymers form a gel network with a crystal-like internal structure that is independent of concentration and reminiscent of a pearl-necklace network.

Graphical abstract: Integration of molecular machines into supramolecular materials: actuation between equilibrium polymers and crystal-like gels

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Jun 2017, accepted on 06 Nov 2017 and first published on 06 Nov 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR04251E
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017, Advance Article
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    Integration of molecular machines into supramolecular materials: actuation between equilibrium polymers and crystal-like gels

    G. Mariani, A. Goujon, E. Moulin, M. Rawiso, N. Giuseppone and E. Buhler, Nanoscale, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR04251E

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