Solvent dependent pathway complexity and seeded supramolecular polymerization†
cNDI-1 exhibits an off-pathway aggregate in cyclic hydrocarbon (MCH) but produces a helical supramolecular polymer in linear alkane (decane) by well-defined J-aggregation. Effective solvent-assisted nucleation in linear alkanes due to shape matching with the peripheral alkyl chains of a monomer is responsible for the pathway complexity. Seed, produced by sonication induced fragmentation of the fibers in decane, could initiate supramolecular polymerization of the off-pathway aggregate in MCH generating controllable helical nanostructures. The chiral seed of cNDI-1 was also successfully employed for the synthesis of a helical supramolecular polymer from the off-pathway aggregate of achiral cNDI-2.