Visualisation of Helical Structures of Poly(diphenylacetylene)s Bearing Chiral Amide Pendants by Atomic Force Microscopy
- Chemical Communications
Imaging helices in polymer molecules
© KTSDESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images
Helical structures in an important group of polymers have been directly visualized for the first time. This will pave the way for these molecules to be tweaked for use as sensors, luminescence sources, and a phase for high-performance liquid chromatography.
Many molecules contain corkscrew-like structures that can twist in a left- or right-handed direction. While the direction of this helicity doesn’t affect the chemical composition of the molecule, it can greatly alter the molecule’s optical properties and how it reacts with other compounds, especially in biological systems.
Now, nine researchers from Kanazawa University in Japan have used atomic force microscopy to image the helical structures in two poly(diphenylacetylene)s (PDPAs) — polymers that are promising for use as functional materials.
The images revealed both the direction of the helices and how tightly they are wound. The structural information gleaned from the images helped to explain why one of the PDPAs is red in solution while the other is yellow.
|Kanazawa University (KU), Japan||1.00|