Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

Molecular Communications in Complex Systems of Dynamic Supramolecular Polymers



Supramolecular polymers are composed of monomers that self-assemble non-covalently, generating distributions of monodimensional fibres in continuous communication with each other and with the surrounding solution. Fibres, exchanging molecular species, and external environment constitute a sole complex system, which intrinsic dynamics is hard to elucidate. Here we report coarse-grained molecular simulations that allow studying supramolecular polymers at the thermodynamic equilibrium, explicitly showing the complex nature of these systems, which are composed of exquisitely dynamic molecular entities. Detailed studies of molecular exchange provide insights into key factors controlling how assemblies communicate with each other, defining the equilibrium dynamics of the system. Using minimalistic and finer chemically relevant molecular models, we observe that a rich concerted complexity is intrinsic in such self-assembling systems. This offers a new dynamic and probabilistic (rather than structural) picture of supramolecular polymer systems, where the travelling molecular species continuously shape the assemblies that statistically emerge at the equilibrium.


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Supplementary weblinks

GitHub folder for data availability
Data and materials pertaining to the molecular simulations conducted herein (input files, model files, raw data, analysis tools, etc.). This GitHub link will be replaced with a definitive Zenodo link upon acceptance of the final version of this paper).