A Facile Synthetic Route to Amphiphilic Poly(Meta-Phenylene Ethynylene) and Poly(Meta-Phenylene Ethynylene)-Block-Polyisocyanide Using a Single Catalyst
Chonglong Li, Xunhui Xu, Lei Xu, Na Liu
An optically active, amphiphilic meta-phenylene ethynylene (m-PE) bearing a chiral amide pendant was designed and synthesized. Living polymerization of m-PE using alkyne-Pd(II) as the initiator afforded well-defined poly(meta-phenylene ethynylene) (m-PPE). These m-PPEs were found to have a stable helical conformation in THF, 1,4-dioxane, and CH3CN and showed split Cotton effects over the range of 245–400 nm. The positive first Cotton effect was observed at a wavelength of approximately 308 nm, and the negative second Cotton effect was observed at a wavelength of approximately 289 nm. The m-PPEs exhibited helical conformational changes in different mixed solvents and showed effective solvent-dependent helix inversion in CHCl3/THF solutions. The sign of the Cotton effect of m-PPE was inverted at 25 °C by varying the mixing ratio of THF and CHCl3. Finally, amphiphilic poly(meta-phenylene ethynylene)-block-polyisocyanide containing hydrophilic PPE and hydrophobic PPI segments were facilely prepared using Pd(II)-terminated m-PPE as the macroinitiator. This block copolymer can self-assemble into well-defined spherical nanostructures in a selective THF/CH3OH solution. This efficient polymerization will open up enormous opportunities for the preparation of functional amphiphilic block copolymers in a wide variety of fields.
Circular dichroism, Cotton effect, Chemical stability, Polymers