Recent Advances in Supramolecular Polymers


This chapter discusses the recent advances in supramolecular polymers. These supramolecular polymers are stabilized by noncovalent forces like hydrogen bonding, pi-pi interactions, metal complexation, and the hydrophobic effect. Supramolecular forces play an important role in defining the properties of covalent systems too. As the self-assembly is taking place by co-operative interactions of many weak supramolecular forces, the aggregate formed has the property of reversibility, thereby making the aggregate self-correcting so that it reaches the most stable thermodynamic state and also responsive to external stimuli like pH change, temperature change, stress, and so on. The supramolecular polymers offer many advantages compared to conventional polymers. The foremost of them is the property of reversibility, which is altogether missing in the conventional polymers. Because of the presence of multiple co-operative forces in the supramolecular polymers, novel and unique properties are observed in the materials. Although supramolecular polymers are better than traditional polymers in some of the aspects, they lack in some too. As supramolecular polymers are based on the weak interactions as compared to the covalent bonds in traditional polymers, they are useful only under the conditions which allow the interplay of these different kinds of interactions. Collectively these examples give a general overview of supramolecular polymers, ranging from those stabilized by only one type of supramolecular interaction to those which require more than one kind of interactions to give stabilized systems. The long-term goal should be to design systems which are synthetically more viable, and are technologically pertinent.

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Recent Advances in Supramolecular Polymers
Book Title
Physical Properties of Polymers Handbook
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  • James E. Mark Send Email (1)
  • Editor Affiliation
  • 1 Department of Chemistry, University of Cincinnati, Crosley Tower, Martin Luther King Drive, 45221-0172, Cincinnati, OH
  • Authors
  • Jeffrey D. Hartgerink Send Email (2)
  • Varun Gauba Send Email (3)
  • Author Affiliation
  • 2 Department of Chemistry and Bioengineering, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, 77005, Houston, TX
  • 3 Department of Chemistry and Bioengineering, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, 77005, Houston, TX
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