D-Glucaric acid (D-Glc) associates with linear poly(ethyleneimine) (PEI) through hydrogen bonding and electrostatic interactions in aqueous media to form nanostructured crystalline PEI/D-Glc/H2O complexes with PEI/D-Glc/H2O ratios of 2:1:2. These complexes can serve as templates for silica depositions from hydrolytic condensation of tetramethoxysilane to guide morphologically duplicated silica under very mild conditions. Their microscale morphologies are tunable by use of the crystalline complexes regulated in the different pH of the PEI/D-Glc solutions. It was also found that some metal ions added in the PEI/D-Glc complexation process could have a synergistic effect under a certain pH regimes, bringing about remarkable changes in the hierarchy of the resulting complexes. Especially, the complexes formed through fine-tuning of the complexation conditions could direct torsionally stacked silica nanosheets, in which the nanosheets are composed of orderly-bundled nanofibrils. Final elimination of organic components of the templates afforded chiral inorganic silica while retaining the morphologically higher-order structures. The chirality of the silica, which was obtained after calcination at 600 °C, was characterized by means of diffused reflectance circular dichroism (DRCD) spectroscopy with a remote confirmation of the appearance of induced-CD (ICD) signals of achiral or racemic chromophores covalently linked on the silica frames. Interestingly, the shapes and signs of these ICD signals are dramatically changed depending on the pH-tuned templates used in silicification and are strongly correlated to that of the CD signals of the complex templates, indicating that the chiral transcription proceeds accurately with imprinting the higher-order chirality of the complexes on the morphologically structured silica networks.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry