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Dendron-Polymer Hybrids as Tailorable Coronae of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube
preprintsubmitted on 20.04.2021, 08:38 and posted on 20.04.2021, 13:15 by Verena Wulf, Gadi Slor, Parul Rathee, Roey J. Amir, Gili Bisker
Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), non-covalently functionalized by synthetic polymers, find widespread applications including sensing and imaging. Identifying new amphiphiles with interchangeable building blocks that can form unique coronae around the SWCNT, customized for a specific application, is thus of great interest. We present polymer-dendron hybrids, composed of hydrophobic dendrons and hydrophilic polyethylene glycol (PEG), as amphiphilic macromolecules with high degree of structural freedom, for suspending SWCNTs in aqeous solution. Based on a set of four PEG-dendrons differing in their dendritic end-groups, we show thst differences in the chemical structure of the hydrophobic end-groups control the interactions of the PEG-dendrons with the SWCNT-surface. These interactions led to differences in the intrinsic near-infrared fluorescence emission of the SWCNTs and affected the PEG-dendron susceptibility to enzymatic degradation, which was monitored by the SWCNT fluorescent signal. Our findings open new avenues for rational design of SWCNT functionalization, and optical sensing of enzymatic activity