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Research Highlight

Learning the “design rules” for biomimetic polymer membrane assembly

Topic: Materials

Scientific Achievement

We show that hydrogen bonding and electrostatic interactions in the aqueous phase control the conformations of the polymers in the organic phase.

Significance and Impact

Learning the design rules for assembly of bio-inspired polymeric membranes will enable the design of new classes of functional interfaces.

Research Details

  • Using vibrational sum frequency generation spectroscopy (vSFG) we monitored the self-assembly of an ionic amphiphilic polymer monolayer at a liquid/liquid interface.
  • The vSFG spectra indicated that the polymers initially were lying flat at the interface.
  • Over time, the polymers already at the interface changed conformation in the organic phase to allow more room for additional molecules to adsorb there.

A.U. Chowdhury, G.J. Taylor, V. Bocharova, R.L. Sacci, Y. Luo, W.T. McClintic, Y.-Z. Ma, S.A. Sarles, K. Hong, C.P. Collier, B. Doughty, J. Am Chem. Soc., 142, 290 (2020) DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b10536