Helix-sense-selective co-precipitation for preparing optically active helical polymer nanoparticles/graphene oxide hybrid nanocomposites†
Constructing optically active helical polymer based nanomaterials without using expensive and limited chirally helical polymers has become an extremely attractive research topic in both chemical and materials science. In this study, we prepared a series of optically active helical polymer nanoparticles/graphene oxide (OAHPNs/GO) hybrid nanocomposites through an unprecedented strategy—the co-precipitation of optically inactive helical polymers and chirally modified GO. This approach is named helix-sense-selective co-precipitation (HSSCP), in which the chirally modified GO acted as a chiral source for inducing and further stabilizing the predominantly one-handed helicity in the optically inactive helical polymers. SEM and TEM images show quite similar morphologies of all the obtained OAHPNs/GO nanocomposites; specifically, the chirally modified GO sheets were uniformly decorated with spherical polymer nanoparticles. Circular dichroism (CD) and UV-vis absorption spectra confirmed the preferentially induced helicity in the helical polymers and the optical activity of the nanocomposites. The established HSSCP strategy is thus proven to be widely applicable and is expected to produce numerous functional OAHPNs/GO nanocomposites and even the analogues.