Helical Polyacetylene Synthesized with a Chiral Nematic Reaction Field

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Science  27 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5394, pp. 1683-1686
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5394.1683

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Helical polyacetylene was synthesized under an asymmetric reaction field consisting of chiral nematic (N*) liquid crystals (LCs). The chiral nematic LC was prepared by adding a chiroptical binaphthol derivative as a chiral dopant to a mixture of two nematic LCs. Acetylene polymerizations were carried out using the catalyst titanium tetra-n-butoxide–triethylaluminum dissolved in the chiral nematic LC solvent. The polyacetylene film was shown by scanning electron microscopy to consist of clockwise or counterclockwise helical structure of fibrils. A Cotton effect was observed in the region of the π → π* transition of the polyacetylene chain in circular dichroism spectra. The high electrical conductivities of ∼1500 to 1800 siemens per centimeter after iodine doping and the chiral helicity of these films may be exploited in electromagnetic and optical applications.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: akagi{at} (K.A.) and hideki{at} (H.S.)

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