Molecular design of a discrete chain-folding polyimide for controlled inkjet deposition of supramolecular polymers†
A supramolecular polymer based upon two complementary polymer components is formed by sequential deposition from solution in THF, using a piezoelectric drop-on-demand inkjet printer. Highly efficient cycloaddition or ‘click’ chemistry afforded a well-defined poly(ethylene glycol) featuring chain-folding diimide end groups, which possesses greatly enhanced solubility in THF relative to earlier materials featuring random diimide sequences. Blending the new polyimide with a complementary poly(ethylene glycol) system bearing pyrene end groups (which bind to the chain-folding diimide units) overcomes the limited solubility encountered previously with chain-folding polyimides in inkjet printing applications. The solution state properties of the resulting polymer blend were assessed via viscometry to confirm the presence of a supramolecular polymer before depositing the two electronically complementary polymers by inkjet printing techniques. The novel materials so produced offer an insight into ways of controlling the properties of printed materials through tuning the structure of the polymer at the (supra)molecular level.
- This article is part of the themed collection: David Sherrington Commemorative Issue