Conversion of Supramolecular Clusters to Macromolecular Objects

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Science  22 Jan 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5401, pp. 523-526
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5401.523

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In a reaction proceeding within a nanoscopic volume, supramolecular clusters were transformed to polymer objects while retaining their shape and size. Spatial isolation of the cross-linkable blocks of oligobutadiene that were involved in this stitching reaction was achieved by self-assembly of the molecules that made up the clusters. Thermal activation of cross-linking yielded macromolecules (molecular weight of 70,000) with a narrow size distribution that was similar to that of the supramolecular clusters. The macromolecules obtained have an anisotropic shape (2 nanometers by 8 nanometers), as determined by electron microscopy and small-angle x-ray scattering, and form materials that exhibit a liquid crystalline state.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: s-stupp{at}

  • Present address: Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.

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