Controlling the length of cooperative supramolecular polymers with chain-cappers

Gijs M. ter Huurne, Pongphak Chidchob, Augustin Long, Alexandre Martinez, Anja R A Palmans, Ghislaine Vantomme (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The design and the characterization of supramolecular additives to control the chain length of benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxamide (BTA) cooperative supramolecular polymers under thermodynamic equilibrium is unraveled. These additives act as chain-cappers of supramolecular polymers and feature one face as reactive as the BTA discotic to interact strongly with the polymer-end, whereas the other face is non-reactive and therefore impedes further polymerization. Such a design requires fine tuning of the conformational pre-organization of the amides and the steric hindrance of the motif. The chain-cappers studied are monotopic derivatives of BTA, modified by partial N -methylation of the amides or by positioning of a bulky cyclotriveratrylene cage on one face of the BTA unit. This study not only clarifies the interplay between structural variations and supramolecular interactions, but it also highlights the necessity to combine orthogonal characterization methods, spectroscopy and light scattering, to elucidate the structures and compositions of supramolecular systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9964-9970
Number of pages7
JournalChemistry : A European Journal
Issue number44
Early online date29 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2020


  • Chain cappers
  • cooperative effect
  • hydrogen bonds
  • noncovalent interactions
  • supramolecular polymers


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