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Collapse of stiff conjugated polymers with chemical defects into ordered, cylindrical conformations

Hu, Dehong and Yu, Ji and Wong, Kim and Bagchi, Biman and Rossky, Peter J and Barbara, Paul F (2000) Collapse of stiff conjugated polymers with chemical defects into ordered, cylindrical conformations. In: Nature, 405 (6790). pp. 1030-1033.

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The optical, electronic and mechanical properties of synthetic and biological materials consisting of polymer chains depend sensitively on the conformation adopted by these chains. The range of conformations available to such systems has accordingly been of intense fundamental1,2 as well as practical3±6 interest, and distinct conformational classes have been predicted, depending on the stiffness of the polymer chains and the strength of attractive interactions between segments within a chain7-10. For example, fiexible polymers should adopt highly disordered conformations resembling either a random coil or, in the presence of strong intrachain attractions, a so-called `molten globule'2,10. Stiff polymers with strong intrachain interactions, in contrast, are expected to collapse into conformations with long-range order, in the shape of toroids or rod-like structures8,9,11. Here we use computer simulations to show that the anisotropy distribution obtained from polarization spectroscopy measurements on individual poly[2-methoxy-5-(29-ethylhexyl)oxy-1,4 phenylenevinylene] polymer molecules is consistent with this prototypical stiff conjugated polymer adopting a highly ordered, collapsed conformation that cannot be correlated with ideal toroid or rod structures. We find that the presence of so-called`tetrahedral chemical defects', where conjugated carbon-carbon links areeplaced by tetrahedral links, divides the polymer chain into structurally identifiable quasi-straight segments that allow the molecule to adopt cylindrical conformations. Indeed, highly ordered, cylindrical conformations may be a critical factor in dictating the extraordinary photophysical properties of conjugated polymers, including highly efeicient intramolecular energy transfer and significant local optical anisotropy in thin films.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Nature
Publisher: Macmillan Magazines
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Macmillan Magazines.
Department/Centre: Division of Chemical Sciences > Solid State & Structural Chemistry Unit
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2008 06:18
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:53
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/16674

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