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Pure Appl. Chem., 2012, Vol. 84, No. 4, pp. 879-891

Published online 2012-02-23

Double-stranded polymeric ladderphanes

Tien-Yau Luh

Department of Chemistry, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan

Abstract: Double-stranded polymeric ladderphanes are obtained by ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) of bisnorbornene derivatives by the first generation of Grubbs catalyst (G-I). A range of two- and three-dimensional organic and organometallic linkers are used to connect two norbornene units. The structures of these double-stranded polymers are proved by spectroscopic means and scanning tunneling microscopic (STM) images. Hydrolytic cleavages of these ladderphanes give the corresponding single-stranded polymers with the same degree of polymerization and polydispersity as those of the double-stranded counterparts. Helical polymeric ladderphanes are also synthesized similarly when chiral linkers are used. Strong intereactions between adjacent linkers have been revealed by their physical properties in these polymers. Chemical modification of ladderphanes is achieved by bis-dihydroxylation, diimide reduction of double bonds, and electrochemical oxidation of linkers. Unsymmetrical ladderphanes with well-defined lengths and narrow dispersity are also obtained by replication and by sequential polymerization.