Orthogonal Supramolecular Assemblies Using Side-Chain Functionalized Helical Poly(isocyanide)s

Chengyuan Wang, Ru Deng, Marcus Weck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mimicking the structure of proteins using synthetic polymers requires building blocks with structural similarity and the use of various noncovalent and dynamic covalent interactions. We report the synthesis of helical poly(isocyanide)s bearing diaminopyridine and pyridine side-chains and the multistep functionalization of the polymers’ side-chains using hydrogen bonding and metal coordination. The orthogonality of the hydrogen bonding and metal coordination was proved by varying the sequence of the multistep assembly. The two side-chain functionalizations are reversible through the use of competitive solvents and/or competing ligands. Throughout the assembly and disassembly, the helical conformation of the polymer backbone is sustained as proved by circular dichroism spectroscopy. These results open the possibility to incorporate helical domains into complex polymer architectures and create a helical scaffold for smart materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3507-3516
Number of pages10
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 23 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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