Supramolecular polymers, formed via non covalent self-assembly of elementary monomers, are extremely interesting for their dynamic bioinspired properties. In order to understand their behavior, it is necessary to access their dynamics while maintaining high resolution in the, treatment of the monomer structure and monomer monomer interactions, which is typically a difficult task, especially in aqueous solution. Focusing on 1,3,5-benzenetricarboxamide (BTA) water-soluble supramolecular polymers, we have developed a transferable coarse-grained model that allows studying BTA supramolecular polymerization in water, while preserving remarkable consistency a) 2 with the atomistic models in the description of the key interactions between the monomers (hydrophobic, H-bonding, etc.), self-assembly cooperativity, and amplification of order into the growing fibers. This permitted us to monitor the amplification of the key interactions between the monomers (including H-bonding) in the BTA fibers during the dynamic polymerization process. Our molecular dynamics simulations provide a picture of a stepwise cooperative polymerization mechanism, where initial fast hydrophobic aggregation of the BTA monomers in water is followed by the slower reorganization of these disordered aggregates into ordered directional oligomers. Supramolecular polymer growth then proceeds on a slower time scale. We challenged our models via comparison with the experimental evidence, capturing the effect of temperature variations and subtle changes in the monomer structure on the polymerization and on the properties of the fibers seen in the real systems. This work provides a multiscale spatiotemporal characterization of BTA self-assembly in water and a useful platform to study a variety of BTA-based supramolecular polymers toward structure-property relationships.
|Titolo:||From Cooperative Self-Assembly to Water-Soluble Supramolecular Polymers Using Coarse-Grained Simulations|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 - Articolo su rivista|