Connecting Molecular and Supramolecular Shapeshifting by the Ostwald's Nucleation Stages of a Star Giant Molecule

Hong Yu Hsu, Jou Tsen Ou, Tsu Tung Cheng, Heng Yi Lin, Chan Yi Lin, Jia Chen, Bin Sun, Po Wen Chung, Chien Lung Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The shapeshifting behavior for synthetic matters was found at either the molecular or supramolecular level, but the connection between shapeshifting at the two hierarchical levels remains missing. In this study, an 8-arm star giant molecule, NPOSS, was synthesized to connect the molecular and supramolecular shapeshifting. Controlling the conditions of bulk self-assembly allowed us to bring NPOSS into three different Ostwald's stages of nucleation. The high conformational flexibility of NPOSS facilitates molecular shapeshifting and allows NPOSS to take the discotic, rod-like and star-like geometries in different Ostwald's stages. Simultaneous changes in the supramolecular scaffolds were observed as the discotic, rod-like and star-like NPOSS molecules self-assembled into the supramolecular scaffolds of 1D columns, 2D lamellae, and 3D networks, respectively. These changes in the hierarchical structures also affect the CO2affinity of NPOSS. Therefore, the connection between the molecular/supramolecular shapeshifting and the structure-driven property changes of NPOSS were established by taking advantage of the high conformational freedom of the 8-arm star giant molecule and its diverse self-assembly pathways leading to the different Ostwald's stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9390-9398
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022


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