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Du et al. ChemRxiv 2019.pdf (3.96 MB)

Homopolymer Self-Assembly via Poly(propylene Sulfone) Networks

submitted on 17.09.2019, 21:07 and posted on 23.09.2019, 16:08 by Fanfan Du, Baofu Qiao, Sharan Bobbala, sijia yi, Monica Olvera de la Cruz, Evan Scott

Natural molecules such as peptides and DNA organize dynamically into hierarchical structures with diverse morphologies and sizes. The ability to mimic this self-assembly behavior in synthetic materials has remained an elusive goal. We report on poly(propylene sulfone), a synthetic homopolymer that self-assembles into nanoscale hydrogels of various morphologies including spherical, vesicular, and cylindrical in aqueous solution. Experiments and simulations demonstrate that while the polymer chains are roughly extended and minimally aggregated in DMSO, the addition of water overcomes the steric limitations imposed by the sulfones and induces formation of molecular networks through sulfone-sulfone bonding. Networks collapse and reorganize into distinct morphologies upon hydration, endowing an exceptional capability for capturing organic molecules. This simple system presents a robust platform for controlling nanofabrication.


Electrostatics and Elasticity in Self-Assembled Nanostructures

Basic Energy Sciences

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1 DP2 HL132390-01

1 R21 AI137932-01


Email Address of Submitting Author


Northwestern University


United States

ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest

Version Notes

Version #1