Single-molecule imaging reveals topological isomer-dependent diffusion by 4-armed star and dicyclic 8-shaped polymers

Satoshi Habuchi, Susumu Fujiwara, Takuya Yamamoto, Yasuyuki Tezuka

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Diffusion 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.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4109-4115
Number of pages7
JournalPolym. Chem.
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2015

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