Thiosquaramide-Based Supramolecular Polymers: Aromaticity Gain in a Switched Mode of Self-Assembly

Victorio Saez Talens, Joyal Davis, Chia Hua Wu, Zhili Wen, Francesca Lauria, Karthick Babu Sai Sankar Gupta, Raisa Rudge, Mahsa Boraghi, Alexander Hagemeijer, Thuat T. Trinh, Pablo Englebienne, Ilja K. Voets, Judy I. Wu (Corresponding author), Roxanne E. Kieltyka (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Despite a growing understanding of factors that drive monomer self-assembly to form supramolecular polymers, the effects of aromaticity gain have been largely ignored. Herein, we document the aromaticity gain in two different self-assembly modes of squaramide-based bolaamphiphiles. Importantly, O → S substitution in squaramide synthons resulted in supramolecular polymers with increased fiber flexibility and lower degrees of polymerization. Computations and spectroscopic experiments suggest that the oxo- and thiosquaramide bolaamphiphiles self-assemble into "head-to-tail"versus "stacked"arrangements, respectively. Computed energetic and magnetic criteria of aromaticity reveal that both modes of self-assembly increase the aromatic character of the squaramide synthons, giving rise to stronger intermolecular interactions in the resultant supramolecular polymer structures. These examples suggest that both hydrogen-bonding and stacking interactions can result in increased aromaticity upon self-assembly, highlighting its relevance in monomer design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19907-19916
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2020


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