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Structural studies of supramolecular host-guest systems



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Abstract This research work details a systematic study of the structure and function of supramolecular host-guest systems. Host-guest inclusion complexes were formed between β-Cyclodextrin (β-CD) and its copolymers (as hosts), with several types of guest molecules both in aqueous solution and the solid state. The research is divided into two themes; (1) structural characterization and dynamic properties of the inclusion compounds of β-CD with various guest systems in aqueous solution and the solid phase, and (2) heterogeneous adsorption and structural studies of β-CD based copolymers with various guest systems in aqueous solutions. The guest systems include alkyl and perfluoroalkyl carboxylates, perfluoroalkyl sulfonate, and p-nitrophenol (PNP) at variable experimental conditions. In the first theme (chapter 2-5), host-guest complexes in the solid state were prepared using dissolution and slow cool methods at variable host/guest mole ratios (i.e., 1:1 and 2:1). The complexes were further characterized using 19F/13C DP/MAS and CP/MAS solid-state NMR spectroscopy. The solution state complexes were prepared in D2O for structural characterization using 1H/19F NMR spectroscopy. The NMR studies were complemented using FT-IR, thermal analyses (DSC, and TGA), and powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD). Evidence for the formation of host-guest inclusion compounds (ICs) was provided using CP/MAS solids NMR spectroscopy and complexation-induced chemical shift (CIS) values of 1H/19F nuclei in aqueous solution. The β-CD/PFC ICs displayed variable guest geometry and hydration states as determined by the host-guest stoichiometry and the conformation of the guest. PFOA and SPFO form 1:1 and 2:1 ICs with β-CD, wherein the guest adopts a range of gauche and trans conformations, respectively. 1:1 host-guest complexes were concluded for short perfluorocarbon chains (i.e., PFBA) where the gauche conformation of the PFC guest in the bound state was favoured. In the second theme (chapters 6–8), β-CD based copolymers were used as host materials. The structural characterization of a soluble poly-CD material (known as HDI-1) revealed that the solution behaviour of such polymeric hosts are sensitive to the presence of guest compounds such as p-nitrophenol (PNP) (i.e. chemo-responsive), as well as temperature variations (i.e. thermo-responsive). The host-guest chemistry of the soluble poly-CD material, as studied by 2-D solution NMR and induced circular dichroism (ICD) spectroscopy, indicates that PNP was bound within the cavity sites of β-CD and the interstitial domains of the copolymer (cf. Scheme 1.6 and chapter 6). The observed responsive nature of such polymeric host materials to temperature variation and chemical potential resembles behaviour characteristic of ‘smart materials’. Herein, ‘smart materials’ refer to systems which are responsive to external stimuli (e.g. temperature and chemical). The adsorption properties of the soluble (HDI-1) and insoluble (HDI-3 and -6) poly-CD adsorbents with octyl and perfluorooctyl carboxylate and sulfonate anions were estimated using the Sips and BET models. The hydrocarbon (HC) and fluorocarbon (FC) anions form monolayer and multilayer structures at the surface of the polymeric adsorbents, respectively. The formation of layered structures was controlled by the relative hydrophobicity of the alkyl/perfluoroalkyl chains and their mutual miscibility with the adsorbent surface. Other factors include the inductive effects of the alkyl/perfluoroalkyl head groups and their interactions with aqueous solvent or dipolar domains of the adsorbent surface. The adsorbed species at the liquid-solid interface were characterized using FT-IR spectroscopy, thermal analyses, and contact angle.



Cyclodextrin, host-guest complex, sorption



Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)






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