This review describes (1) the precise synthesis of polyrotaxane (PRx) and (2) materials using PRx. PRx has a necklace-like structure in which a linear molecule penetrates the cavity of a cyclic molecule and both ends of the linear molecule are capped with a bulky substituent. The supramolecular structure of PRx can be formed with cyclic molecules used as building blocks. PRx exhibits many features (e.g., cyclic molecule slippage) that are not found in other supramolecular structures. In this review, we report that the number of cyclic molecules, the length (molecular weight) of the linear molecules, and the combination of the cyclic molecules and linear molecules in PRx can be precisely controlled to maximize cyclic molecule slippage. In addition, we created a material that quickly recovers its material strength because of the cyclic molecule slippage of PRx.
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The author would like to express his gratitude to all his past and present colleagues for their valuable contributions to this focus review. The author is deeply indebted to Prof. Nobuhiko Yui (Tokyo Medical and Dental University), Dr. Ryo Katoono (Hokkaido University), Prof. Yoshinori Takashima (Osaka University), Prof. Akira Harada (Osaka University), and Prof. Hiroyasu Yamaguchi (Osaka University) for their continuous encouragement and constructive discussions. This work was supported by the Mazda Foundation, Kao Foundation for Arts and Sciences, the Izumi Science and Technology Foundation, Tonen General Sekiyu Research/Development Encouragement & Scholarship Foundation, and JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 20K21223.
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Kobayashi, Y. Precise synthesis of polyrotaxane and preparation of supramolecular materials based on its mobility. Polym J 53, 505–513 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41428-020-00455-x