Functional Supramolecular Polymeric Networks: The Marriage of Covalent Polymers and Macrocycle-Based Host–Guest Interactions

Danyu Xia, Pi Wang, Xiaofan Ji, Niveen M. Khashab, Jonathan L. Sessler, Feihe Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

321 Scopus citations


Covalent polymers connected by non-covalent interactions constitute a fascinating set of materials known as supramolecular polymer networks (SPNs). A key feature of SPNs is that the underlying covalent polymers endow the resulting self-assembled materials with features, such as structural and mechanical integrity, good processability, recyclability, stimuli-responsiveness, self-healing, and shape memory, that are not recapitulated in the case of classic covalent polymer systems. The unique nature of SPNs derives from the controlled marriage of traditional covalent polymers and macrocycle-based host–guest interactions. As a consequence, supramolecular polymeric networks have played important roles in a number of diverse fields, including polymer science, supramolecular chemistry, materials science, biomedical materials, and information storage technology. In this Review, we summarize advances made in the area of functional SPNs, with a focus on original literature reports appearing in the past five years. The treatment is organized according to the key macrocycle-based host–guest interactions used to produce various SPNs. The role of the underlying polymer backbones is also discussed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChemical Reviews
StatePublished - May 19 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2017-CRG6-3503.01
Acknowledgements: The work was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (21901149 to D.X., 21704073, to P.W., and 21434005 to F.H.). This publication is based in part upon work supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) under Award Nos. OSR-2017-CRG6-3503.01 and OSR-2019-CRG8-4032. The work in Austin was further supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (grant CHE-1807152 to J.L.S.) and the Robert A. Welch Foundation (grant F-0018). X.J. acknowledges initial funding from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, where he is being supported by Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (grant 2020kfyXJJS013).


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