Theoretical models of nonlinear effects in two-component cooperative supramolecular copolymerizations

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The understanding of multi-component mixtures of self-assembling molecules under thermodynamic equilibrium can only be advanced by a combined experimental and theoretical approach. In such systems, small differences in association energy between the various components can be significantly amplified at the supramolecular level via intricate nonlinear effects. Here we report a theoretical investigation of two-component, self-assembling systems in order to rationalize chiral amplification in cooperative supramolecular copolymerizations. Unlike previous models based on theories developed for covalent polymers, the models presented here take into account the equilibrium between the monomer pool and supramolecular polymers, and the cooperative growth of the latter. Using two distinct methodologies, that is, solving mass-balance equations and stochastic simulation, we show that monomer exchange accounts for numerous unexplained observations in chiral amplification in supramolecular copolymerization. In analogy with asymmetric catalysis, amplification of chirality in supramolecular polymers results in an asymmetric depletion of the enantiomerically related monomer pool.
Original languageEnglish
Article number509
Pages (from-to)509-1/9
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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