A rapid approach to identifying complementary catalytic groups using combinations of functional polymers is presented. Amphiphilic polymers with "clickable" hydrophobic blocks were used to create a library of functional polymers, each bearing a single functionality. The polymers were combined in water, yielding mixed micelles. As the functional groups were colocalized in the hydrophobic microphase, they could act cooperatively, giving rise to new modes of catalysis. The multipolymer "clumps" were screened for catalytic activity, both in the presence and absence of metal ions. A number of catalyst candidates were identified across a wide range of model reaction types. One of the catalytic systems discovered was used to perform a number of preparative-scale syntheses. Our approach provides easy access to a range of enzyme-inspired cooperative catalysts.
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