Single-molecule imaging reveals topological isomer-dependent diffusion by 4-armed star and dicyclic 8-shaped polymers
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AbstractDiffusion dynamics of topological isomers of polymer molecules was investigated at the single-molecule level in a melt state by employing the fluorophore-incorporated 4-armed star and the corresponding doubly-cyclized, 8-shaped poly(THF) chains. While the single-molecule fluorescence imaging experiment revealed that the diffusion of the 4-armed star polymer was described by a single Gaussian distribution, the diffusion of the 8-shaped polymer exhibited a double Gaussian distribution behaviour. We reasoned that the two 8-shaped polymeric isomers have distinct diffusion modes in the melt state, although ensemble-averaged experimental methods cannot detect differences in overall conformational state of the isomers. The single-molecule experiments suggested that one of the 8-shaped polymeric isomer, having the horizontally oriented form, causes an efficient threading with the linear matrix chains which leads to the slower diffusion compared with the corresponding 4-armed star polymer, while the other 8-shaped polymeric isomer, having the vertically oriented form, displayed faster diffusion by the suppression of effective threading with the linear matrix chains due to its contracted chain conformation.
CitationSingle-molecule imaging reveals topological isomer-dependent diffusion by 4-armed star and dicyclic 8-shaped polymers 2015 Polym. Chem.
PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry (RSC)