Symmetry 2010, 2(3), 1625-1652; doi:10.3390/sym2031625
Article

Mirror Symmetry Breaking in Helical Polysilanes: Preference between Left and Right of Chemical and Physical Origin

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Received: 21 February 2010; in revised form: 2 August 2010 / Accepted: 9 August 2010 / Published: 13 August 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry of Life and Homochirality)
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Abstract: From elemental particles to human beings, matter is dissymmetric with respect to mirror symmetry. In 1860, Pasteur conjectured that biomolecular handedness— homochirality—may originate from certain inherent dissymmetric forces existing in the universe. Kipping, a pioneer of organosilicon chemistry, was interested in the handedness of sodium chlorate during his early research life. Since Kipping first synthesized several Si-Si bonded oligomers bearing phenyl groups, Si-Si bonded high polymers carrying various organic groups—polysilanes—can be prepared by sodium-mediated condensation of the corresponding organodichlorosilanes. Among these polysilanes, optically active helical polysilanes with enantiomeric pairs of organic side groups may be used for testing the mirror symmetry-breaking hypothesis by weak neutral current (WNC) origin in the realm of chemistry and material science. Several theoretical studies have predicted that WNC-existing chiral molecules with stereogenic centers and/or stereogenic bonds allow for distinguishing between image and mirror image molecules. Based on several amplification mechanisms, theorists claimed that minute differences, though still very subtle, may be detectable by precise spectroscopic and physicochemical measurements if proper chiral molecular pairs were employed. The present paper reports comprehensively an inequality between six pairs of helical polysilane high polymers, presumably, detectable by (chir)optical and achiral 29Si-/13C- NMR spectra, and viscometric measurements.
Keywords: parity violation; helix; polysilane; optically active; polymer; phase transition; circular dichroism; NMR; viscometry; Salam; weak neutral current
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fujiki, M. Mirror Symmetry Breaking in Helical Polysilanes: Preference between Left and Right of Chemical and Physical Origin. Symmetry 2010, 2, 1625-1652.

AMA Style

Fujiki M. Mirror Symmetry Breaking in Helical Polysilanes: Preference between Left and Right of Chemical and Physical Origin. Symmetry. 2010; 2(3):1625-1652.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fujiki, Michiya. 2010. "Mirror Symmetry Breaking in Helical Polysilanes: Preference between Left and Right of Chemical and Physical Origin." Symmetry 2, no. 3: 1625-1652.


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