Single-chain self-folding of synthetic polymers induced by metal-ligand complexation

Johannes Willenbacher, Ozcan Altintas, Peter W. Roesky, Christopher Barner-Kowollik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The controlled folding of a single polymer chain is for the first time realized by metal- complexation. α,ω-Bromine functional linear polymers are prepared via activators regenerated by electron transfer (ARGET) ATRP (M̄n,SEC = 5900 g mol-1, D strok sign = 1.07 and 12 000 g mol-1, D strok sign = 1.06) and the end groups of the polymers are subsequently converted to azide functionalities. A copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction is carried out in the presence of a novel triphenylphosphine ligand and the polymers to afford homotelechelic bis-triphenylphosphine polymeric-macroligands (MLs) (M̄n,SEC = 6600 g mol-1, D strok sign = 1.07, and 12 800 g mol-1, D strok sign = 1.06). Single-chain metal complexes (SCMCs) are formed in the presence of Pd(II) ions in highly diluted solution at ambient temperature. The results derived via 1H and 31P{1H} NMR experiments, SEC, and DLS unambiguously evidence the efficient formation of SCMCs via metal ligand complexation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • macroligands
  • metal complexes
  • single-chain folding
  • synthetic proteins


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