Structural deuterium isotope effects reveal the cooperativity of polymers

Kap Soo Cheon, Mark M. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The signature characteristic of different kinds of polymers, synthetic and natural, is cooperativity arising from the recurring features common to all polymer structures. Cooperativity and amplification are simply different words expressing the same phenomenon leading one to expect that studies of polymers will allow small effects to be magnified, or, that is, for small effects to have surprisingly large effects on polymer properties. In the work reviewed In this short article we see this amplification at work in two different ways: (1) a synthetic polymer that forms a helical conformation but without preference for helical sense, right or left handed, is caused to take on a large excess of a single helical sense by incorporation of chiral information in surprising ways, including by forming chiral centers by deuterium substitution; (2) two polymers that mix homogeneously with each other by virtue of an unknown attractive interaction are revealed by deuterium labeling to be involved in a weak hydrogen bond between a hydrogen bound to aromatic carbon and an ethereal oxygen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)961-966
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Labelled Compounds and Radiopharmaceuticals
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Oct 30 2007


  • Amplification
  • Chiral information
  • Cooperativity
  • Helical sense
  • Polymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Drug Discovery
  • Spectroscopy
  • Organic Chemistry


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