Poly(n-hexyl isocyanate) adopts a helical structure in solution and the preference of one helical sense induced by a nonracemic chiral solvent can be detected by the circular dichroism (CD) of the backbone chromophore of the polymer. Addition of an achiral or racemic cosolvent leads to a reduction of the CD intensity, which can be interpreted quantitatively as reflecting the composition of the solvent mixture in contact with the helical backbone of the polymer. Equilibrium constants characterizing the relation between the solvent composition in contact with the polymer and the bulk of the system are given for mixtures of (S)-1-chloro-2-methylbutane and a number of achiral or racemic cosolvents. The relationship between the structure of the cosolvent and the extent of the preferential solvation was surprising in several instances. The polymer was preferentially solvated by a highly branched hydrocarbon although it was a precipitant and the preferential solvation by alcohols extended up to the point of polymer precipitation. This unusual method for characterizing preferential solvation of this rod-like polymer is compared with other methods used previously on flexible chain macromolecules.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry