Folding of a donor-containing ionene by intercalation with an acceptor.

Research paper by Swati S De, S S Ramakrishnan

Indexed on: 06 Nov '10Published on: 06 Nov '10Published in: Chemistry - An Asian Journal


Cationic ionenes that bear electron-rich 1,5-dialkoxynaphthalene (DAN) units within the alkylene segment were allowed to interact with different types of electron-deficient, acceptor-containing molecules in an effort to realize intercalation-induced folding of the ionenes; the collapse of the chains was expected to occur in such a way that the donor and acceptor units become arranged in an alternating fashion. Several acceptor-bearing molecules were prepared by the derivatization of pyromellitic dianhydride and naphthalene tetracarboxylic dianhydride with two different oligoethylene glycol monomethyl ether monoamines. This yielded acceptor molecules with different water solubility and allowed the examination of solvophobic effects in the folding process. UV/Vis spectroscopic studies were carried out by using a 1:1 mixture of the DAN-ionenes and different acceptor molecules in water/DMSO solvent mixtures. The intensity of the charge-transfer (CT) band was seen to increase with the water content in the solvent mixture, thereby suggesting that the intercalation is indeed aided by solvophobic effects. The naphthalene diimide (NDI) bearing acceptor molecules consistently formed significantly stronger CT complexes when compared to the pyromellitic diimide (PDI) bearing acceptor molecules, which is a reflection of the stronger π-stacking tendency of the former. AFM studies of drop-cast films of different ionene-acceptor combinations revealed that compact folded structures are formed most effectively under conditions in which the strongest CT complex is formed.