Issue 10, 2022

Mechanistic insights into the pressure-induced polymerization of aryl/perfluoroaryl co-crystals

Abstract

Recently discovered diamond nanothreads offer a stiff, sp3-hybridized backbone unachievable in conventional polymer synthesis that is formed through the solid-state pressure-induced polymerization of simple aromatics. This method enables monomeric A-B alternation to fully translate from co-crystal design to polymer backbone in a sequence-defined manner. Here, we report the compression of aryl:perfluoroaryl (Ar/ArF) co-crystals containing –OH and –CHO functional groups. We analyze the tolerance of these functional groups to polymerization, explore the possibility of keto–enol tautomerization, and compare the reaction outcomes of targeted solid-state Ar/ArF design on nanothread formation. Two new co-crystals comprising phenol:pentafluorobenzaldehyde (ArOH:ArFCHO) and benzaldehdye:pentafluorophenol (ArCHO:ArFOH) were synthesized through slow solvent evaporation. Analysis of the single-crystal structures revealed different hydrogen bonding patterns between the –OH and –CHO in each solid (tape and orthogonal dimers, respectively), in addition to markedly different π–π stacking distances within the Ar/ArF synthons. In situ Raman spectroscopy was used to monitor the compression of each co-crystal to 21 GPa and illustrated peak shifts for the –OH and –CHO stretching regions during compression. Photoluminescence corresponding to polymerization appeared at a lower pressure for the co-crystal with the smallest π–π stacking distance. Nevertheless, the recovered solid with the larger centroid : centroid and centroid : plane π–π stacking distances featured a diffraction ring consistent with the anticipated dimensions of a co-crystal-derived nanothread packing, indicating that both functional group interactions and parallel stacking affect the pressure-induced polymerization to form nanothreads. IR spectroscopy of the recovered samples revealed large shifts in the –OH & –CHO stretching regions, particularly noticable for ArCHO:ArFOH, which may reflect geometrical constraints associated with forming a rigid thread backbone under pressure. Simulation suggests that hydrogen bonding networks may affect the relative compressibility of the co-crystal along a thread-forming axis to modulate the propensity for nanothread formation.

Graphical abstract: Mechanistic insights into the pressure-induced polymerization of aryl/perfluoroaryl co-crystals

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
Paper
Submitted
15 Oct 2021
Accepted
02 Feb 2022
First published
03 Feb 2022

Polym. Chem., 2022,13, 1359-1368

Mechanistic insights into the pressure-induced polymerization of aryl/perfluoroaryl co-crystals

M. C. Gerthoffer, B. Xu, S. Wu, J. Cox, S. Huss, S. M. Oburn, S. A. Lopez, V. H. Crespi, J. V. Badding and E. Elacqua, Polym. Chem., 2022, 13, 1359 DOI: 10.1039/D1PY01387D

To request permission to reproduce material from this article, please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

If you are an author contributing to an RSC publication, you do not need to request permission provided correct acknowledgement is given.

If you are the author of this article, you do not need to request permission to reproduce figures and diagrams provided correct acknowledgement is given. If you want to reproduce the whole article in a third-party publication (excluding your thesis/dissertation for which permission is not required) please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.

Social activity

Spotlight

Advertisements