Next Article in Journal
Effect of Superabsorbent Polymer on the Properties of Concrete
Next Article in Special Issue
Preparation, Characterization and Application of Polysaccharide-Based Metallic Nanoparticles: A Review
Previous Article in Journal
Elastic Shape Memory Hybrids Programmable at Around Body-Temperature for Comfort Fitting
Previous Article in Special Issue
Enhancing Stereocomplexation Ability of Polylactide by Coalescing from Its Inclusion Complex with Urea
Article Menu
Issue 12 (December) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Polymers 2017, 9(12), 673;

Reorganizing Polymer Chains with Cyclodextrins

Fiber & Polymer Science Program, College of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606-8301, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host-Guest Polymer Complexes)
Full-Text   |   PDF [6151 KB, uploaded 5 December 2017]   |  


During the past several years, we have been utilizing cyclodextrins (CDs) to nanostructure polymers into bulk samples whose chain organizations, properties, and behaviors are quite distinct from neat bulk samples obtained from their solutions and melts. We first form non-covalently bonded inclusion complexes (ICs) between CD hosts and guest polymers, where the guest chains are highly extended and separately occupy the narrow channels (~0.5–1.0 nm in diameter) formed by the columnar arrangement of CDs in the IC crystals. Careful removal of the host crystalline CD lattice from the polymer-CD-IC crystals leads to coalescence of the guest polymer chains into bulk samples, which we have repeatedly observed to behave distinctly from those produced from their solutions or melts. While amorphous polymers coalesced from their CD-ICs evidence significantly higher glass-transition temperatures, Tgs, polymers that crystallize generally show higher melting and crystallization temperatures (Tms, Tcs), and some-times different crystalline polymorphs, when they are coalesced from their CD-ICs. Formation of CD-ICs containing two or more guest homopolymers or with block copolymers can result in coalesced samples which exhibit intimate mixing between their common homopolymer chains or between the blocks of the copolymer. On a more practically relevant level, the distinct organizations and behaviors observed for polymer samples coalesced from their CD-ICs are found to be stable to extended annealing at temperatures above their Tgs and Tms. We believe this is a consequence of the structural organization of the crystalline polymer-CD-ICs, where the guest polymer chains included in host-IC crystals are separated and confined to occupy the narrow channels formed by the host CDs during IC crystallization. Substantial degrees of the extended and un-entangled natures of the IC-included chains are apparently retained upon coalescence, and are resistant to high temperature annealing. Following the careful removal of the host CD lattice from each randomly oriented IC crystal, the guest polymer chains now occupying a much-reduced volume may be somewhat “nematically” oriented, resulting in a collection of randomly oriented “nematic” regions of largely extended and un-entangled coalesced guest chains. The suggested randomly oriented nematic domain organization of guest polymers might explain why even at high temperatures their transformation to randomly-coiling, interpenetrated, and entangled melts might be difficult. In addition, the behaviors and uses of polymers coalesced from their CD-ICs are briefly described and summarized here, and we attempted to draw conclusions from and relationships between their behaviors and the unique chain organizations and conformations achieved upon coalescence. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymers; cyclodextrins; inclusion compounds; coalescence polymers; cyclodextrins; inclusion compounds; coalescence

Figure 1

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).
Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Gurarslan, A.; Joijode, A.; Shen, J.; Narayanan, G.; Antony, G.J.; Li, S.; Caydamli, Y.; Tonelli, A.E. Reorganizing Polymer Chains with Cyclodextrins. Polymers 2017, 9, 673.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Polymers EISSN 2073-4360 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top