Three polyphenylene dendrimers were studied by molecular modeling techniques with the goal of better defining the notion of shape persistence often associated with these molecules. We show that despite the rigidity of the monomers, a large variety of dendrimer morphologies is accessible, in large part due to the asymmetrical branching pattern of the monomers (they have nodes in meta and para positions with respect to their anchor point). The folding ability of a branch depends on the number and sequence of the meta and para nodes it contains: while some of the branches are always straight, others can fold back, and the amplitude of that folding increases with generation. As a result, the range of accessible morphologies increases with the generation, from a dense-shell model in low generation to a model intermediate between a dense shell and a dense core in high generation. When the typical A2B monomer is replaced by an A4B monomer, the dense packing limit is reached as early as the second generation because of a higher density and the presence of nodes in the ortho position, which are oriented backward.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry