Project

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Single-molecule mechanics of dendronized polymers

English title Single-molecule mechanics of dendronized polymers
Applicant Borkovec Michal
Number 126053
Funding scheme NRP 62 Smart Materials
Research institution Département de Chimie Minérale et Analytique Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Physical Chemistry
Start/End 01.03.2010 - 31.05.2013
Approved amount 357'774.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Physical Chemistry
Material Sciences

Keywords (4)

dendronized polymers; scanning force microscopy; single molecule spectroscopy; actuators

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Single-molecule mechanics of dendronized polymers

This project investigates the mechanical properties of individual dendronized (i.e. repeatedly and regularly branched) polymers with atomic force microscopy (AFM).
Such polymers might represent ideal building blocks for single molecule valves.

Background
Miniaturization is a vital goal of nanotechnology. In order to build functional structures on the nanometer scale, very small building blocks are needed. Interesting building blocks are individual polymer chains, which could be used to open or close microscopic valves or drive molecular motors. However, hardly any polymers are known of which the mechanical properties can be tuned systematically. Dendronized polymers are similar to simple, linear polymers, but they have very branched and bulky side-chains, which are called dendrons. These dendrons are densely packed along the chain, making the polymer strongly responsive to a variety of external parameters.

Aim
The aim of this project is to explore dendronized (i.e. repeatedly and regularly branched) polymers, where one expects that their elastic properties could be substantially modified through external parameters, such as temperature or solution composition.

Significance
In this project, the dendronized polymers with appropriate functional groups will be synthesized according to novel, but tried and verified methods. The mechanical
properties of individual dendronized polymers will be studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The particular advantage of dendronized polymers is their availability in different dendron “generations”, leading to different cross-sectional diameters and stiffness. In this fashion, it will be possible to systematically elaborate relations between their mechanical properties and their chemical structure. We expect a significant development step in nanotechnology through this novel approach.

Application
The building blocks designed and synthesized in this project will allow to pursue novel applications of dendronized polymers as single molecule elements, e.g. in actuators or molecular motors.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Interactions between Individual Charged Dendronized Polymers and Surfaces
Grebikova L., Maroni P., Muresan L., Zhang B., Schlüter A. D., Borkovec M. (2013), Interactions between Individual Charged Dendronized Polymers and Surfaces, in Macromolecules, 46, 3603.
Linear Viscoelastic Response of Dendronized Polymers
Pasquino R., Zhang B., Sigel R., Yu H., Ottiger M., Bertran O., Aleman C., Schlueter A. D., Vlassopoulos D. (2012), Linear Viscoelastic Response of Dendronized Polymers, in MACROMOLECULES, 45(21), 8813-8823.
Main-Chain Scission of a Charged Fifth-Generation Dendronized Polymer
Yu Hao, Schlueter A. Dieter, Zhang Baozhong (2012), Main-Chain Scission of a Charged Fifth-Generation Dendronized Polymer, in HELVETICA CHIMICA ACTA, 95(12), 2399-2410.
Non-charged, water soluble dendronized polymers
Zhang Baozhong, Schlueter A. Dieter (2012), Non-charged, water soluble dendronized polymers, in NEW JOURNAL OF CHEMISTRY, 36(2), 414-418.
Synthesis of Dendronized Polymers by a ``n+2{''} Approach}
Yu Hao, Schlueter A. Dieter, Zhang Baozhong (2012), Synthesis of Dendronized Polymers by a ``n+2{''} Approach}, in MACROMOLECULES, 45(21), 8555-8560.
Height and Width of Adsorbed Dendronized Polymers: Electron and Atomic Force Microscopy of Homologous Series
Zhang Baozhong, Wepf Roger, Kroger Martin, Halperin Avraham, Schluter A. Dieter (2011), Height and Width of Adsorbed Dendronized Polymers: Electron and Atomic Force Microscopy of Homologous Series, in MACROMOLECULES, 44(17), 6785-6792.
The Largest Synthetic Structure with Molecular Precision: Towards a Molecular Object
Zhang Baozhong, Wepf Roger, Fischer Karl, Schmidt Manfred, Besse Sebastien, Lindner Peter, King Benjamin T., Sigel Reinhard, Schurtenberger Peter, Talmon Yeshayahu, Ding Yi, Kroeger Martin, Halperin Avraham, Schlueter A. Dieter (2011), The Largest Synthetic Structure with Molecular Precision: Towards a Molecular Object, in ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE-INTERNATIONAL EDITION, 50(3), 737-740.
Large Mechanical Response of Single Dendronized Polymers Induced by Ionic Strength
Popa I., Zhang B., Maroni P., Schlüter A. D., Borkovec M. (2010), Large Mechanical Response of Single Dendronized Polymers Induced by Ionic Strength, in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 49, 4250.
Synthetic regimes due to packing constraints in dendritic molecules confirmed by labelling experiments
Zhang B., Yu H., Schlüter A. D., Halperin A., Kröger M., Synthetic regimes due to packing constraints in dendritic molecules confirmed by labelling experiments, in Nature Communications.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Marcus Textor, ETHZ Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Sven H. Behrens, Georgia Institute of Technology United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Peter Schurtenberger, University of Fribourg Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Jürgen P. Rabe, Humboldt Universität Berlin Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Bo Jönsson, University of Lund Sweden (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Manfred Schmidt, Universität Mainz Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Paul Smith, ETH Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Avraham Halperin, Université Joseph Fourier France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
136191 Designing Interactions across Interfaces in Ionic Liquids 01.01.2012 Sinergia
140327 Tuning Interactions between Dissimilar Surfaces by Polyelectrolytes 01.06.2012 Project funding

Abstract

The target of this project is to explore mechanical properties of individual dendronized polymers. The longer-term goal is to investigate their usefulness as chemically responsive actuators. The project relies on three work-packages. The first will develop the synthesis of dendronized polymers with appropriate functional groups, especially with those needed to achieve the needed chemical response and those to carry out the necessary surface immobilization reactions. The second one will study the mechanical properties of individual dendronized polymers with single molecule force spectroscopy. The latter technique is based on pulling individual polymer chains with a tip of an atomic force microscope (AFM), and probing their mechanical properties and interaction with the substrates. The particular advantage of dendronized polymers is their availability of different dendron generations, leading to different cross-sectional diameters and persistence lengths. In this fashion, it will be possible to systematically relate their mechanical properties to their chemical structure and their persistence length. The third work-package will focus on novel applications of dendronized polymers as single molecule actuators or motors. These polymers are expected to show strong chemical-mechanical response, this aspect will be investigated in the final phase of the project. The BASF company has expressed interest in these applications.
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