Cooperativity in the folding of helical m-phenylene ethynylene oligomers based upon the 'Sergeants-and-Soldiers' principle

Ryan B. Prince, Jeffrey S. Moore, Luc Brunsveld, E. W. Meijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 'Sergeants-and-Soldiers' principle has been examined in a series of m-phenylene ethynylene oligomers containing both chiral and achiral side chains. Circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy was used to examine the twist sense bias of the helical conformation in the polar solvent acetonitrile. A non-linear dependence of the CD signal on the amount of chiral side chains was observed revealing cooperative interactions among the side chains through the backbone. On the other hand, the experiments indicate that in acetonitrile a full bias of the helicity cannot be accomplished by chiral side chains alone. Nevertheless, the folded oligomers are highly ordered since the placement of a single chiral side chain at the beginning of an oligomer results in the induction of a strong twist sense bias into the ordered helical conformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4150-4154
Number of pages5
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2001


  • Chirality
  • Circular dichroism
  • Cooperative effects
  • Oligomers
  • Solvent effects
  • Supramolecular chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Cooperativity in the folding of helical m-phenylene ethynylene oligomers based upon the 'Sergeants-and-Soldiers' principle'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this