Raman Optical Activity (ROA) as a New Tool to Elucidate the Helical Structure of Poly(phenylacetylene)s

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2020 Jun 2;59(23):9080-9087. doi: 10.1002/anie.202000651. Epub 2020 Mar 26.


Poly(phenylacetylene)s are a family of helical polymers constituted by conjugated double bonds. Raman spectra of these polymers show a structural fingerprint of the polyene backbone which, in combination with its helical orientation, makes them good candidates to be studied by Raman optical activity (ROA). Four different well-known poly(phenylacetylene)s adopting different scaffolds and ten different helical senses have been prepared. Raman and ROA spectra were recorded and allowed to establish ROA-spectrum/helical-sense relationships: a left/right-handed orientation of the polyene backbone (Mhelix /Phelix ) produces a triplet of positive/negative ROA bands. Raman and ROA spectra of each polymer exhibited the same profile, and the sign of the ROA spectrum was opposite to the lowest-energy electronic circular dichroism (ECD) band, indicating a resonance effect. Resonance ROA appears then as an indicator of the helical sense of poly(phenylacetylene)s, especially for those with an extra Cotton band in the ECD spectrum, where a wrong helical sense is assigned based on ECD, while ROA alerts of this misassignment.

Keywords: Circular Dichroism; Helical Polymers; Helical Sense; Poly(phenylacetylene)s; Raman Optical Activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't