Department of Chemistry; Department of Physics
Type III-B rotaxane dendrimers (T3B-RDs) are hyperbranched macromolecules with mechanical bonds on every branching unit. Here we demonstrate the design, synthesis, and characterization of first to third (G1–G3), and up to the fourth (G4) generation (MW > 22,000 Da) of pure organic T3B-RDs and dendrons through the copper-catalyzed alkyne–azide cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction. By utilizing multiple molecular shuttling of the mechanical bonds within the sphere-like macromolecule, a collective three-dimensional contract-extend molecular motion is demonstrated by diffusion ordered spectroscopy (DOSY) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The discrete T3B-RDs are further observed and characterized by AFM, dynamic light scattering (DLS), and mass spectrometry (MS). The binding of chlorambucil and pH-triggered switching of the T3B-RDs are also characterized by 1H-NMR spectroscopy.
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Kwan, C., Zhao, R., Van Hove, M., Cai, Z., & Leung, K. (2018). Higher-generation type III-B rotaxane dendrimers with controlling particle size in three-dimensional molecular switching. Nature Communications, 9 (497). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-02902-z