POLYMER CHEMISTRY

Reactive crystals have the edge

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Science  05 Aug 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6299, pp. 554-555
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6299.554-e

A recently reported strategy for making two-dimensional polymer crystals uses a rigid monomer with three photoreactive anthracene arms that polymerize through cycloaddition. Like the end groups of a linear polymer, the reactive anthracene edge groups should only be along the rim of the hexaprismatic crystals that form, and not on the faces. Zhao et al. show that this is indeed the case by decorating the edges of these two-dimensional crystals with a dye. A maleic anhydride derivatized with a BODIPY (boron-dipyrromethene) dye reacts with the crystals through a Diels-Alder reaction. The dye, which fluoresces in a wavelength range outside of that of the self-fluorescence of the crystal, is observed only on the edges.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/jacs.6b05456 (2016).

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