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Polymers 2018, 10(6), 612;

Chirality Construction from Preferred π-π Stacks of Achiral Azobenzene Units in Polymer: Chiral Induction, Transfer and Memory

Suzhou Key Laboratory of Macromolecular Design and Precision Synthesis, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Advanced Functional Polymer Design and Application, State and Local Joint Engineering Laboratory for Novel Functional Polymeric Materials, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
Global Institute of Software Technology, No 5. Qingshan Road, Suzhou National Hi-Tech District, Suzhou 215163, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 May 2018 / Revised: 28 May 2018 / Accepted: 1 June 2018 / Published: 4 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue π-Stacked Polymers)
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The induction of supramolecular chirality from achiral polymers has been widely investigated in composite systems consisting of a chiral guest, achiral host, and solvents. To further study and understand the process of chirality transfer from a chiral solvent or chiral molecules to an achiral polymer backbone or side-chain units, an alternative is to reduce the components in the supramolecular assembled systems. Herein, achiral side-chain azobenzene (Azo)-containing polymers, poly(6-[4-(4-methoxyphenylazo) phenoxy] hexyl methacrylate) (PAzoMA), with different Mns, were synthesized by atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). Preferred chirality from supramolecular assembled trans-Azo units of PAzoMAs is successfully induced solely by the neat limonene. These aggregates of the polymers in limonene solution were characterized by circular dichroism (CD), UV-vis spectra, and dynamic light scattering (DLS) under different temperatures. The temperature plays an important role in the course of chiral induction. Meanwhile, supramolecular chirality can be constructed in the solid films of the achiral side-chain Azo-containing polymers that were triggered by limonene vapors. Also, it can be erased after heated above the glass transition temperature (Tg) of the polymer, and recovered after cooling down in the limonene vapors. A chiroptical switch can be built by alternately changing the temperature. The solid films show good chiral memory behaviors. The current results will facilitate studying the mechanism of chirality transfer induced by chiral solvent and improve potential application possibilities in chiral film materials. View Full-Text
Keywords: supramolecular chirality; Azo-containing polymers; chiral aggregation; chiral film supramolecular chirality; Azo-containing polymers; chiral aggregation; chiral film

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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Miao, T.; Yin, L.; Cheng, X.; Zhao, Y.; Hou, W.; Zhang, W.; Zhu, X. Chirality Construction from Preferred π-π Stacks of Achiral Azobenzene Units in Polymer: Chiral Induction, Transfer and Memory. Polymers 2018, 10, 612.

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