Polymer control

Researchers from the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science have developed a new approach for constructing supramolecular polymers with electronic and other desirable properties in a stepwise and highly selective manner. The work builds on the accidental discovery that corannulene, while usually stable, can undergo polymerization in a self-assembly process if an initiator is added to its solvent. If the initiator is removed, the polymerization stops, and product chirality depends on initiator chirality the team found. The team was also able to disassemble their polymers with near 100 percent efficiency.