Designing Cooperative Hydrogen Bonding in Polyethers with Carboxylic Acid Pendants

Geehwan Kwon, Minseong Kim, Woo Hyuk Jung, Suebin Park, Thi Thanh Huynh Tam, Seung Hwan Oh, Soo Hyung Choi, Dong June Ahn, Sang Ho Lee, Byeong Su Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


As a primary molecular interaction governing unique phenomena found in nature, hydrogen bonding (H-bonding) has played a significant role in the design of functional polymeric materials. We herein present the design and synthesis of poly(glycidoxy acetic acid) (PGA), which involved H-bonding donor and acceptor moieties within a single repeating unit of polyether for the precise control of the cooperative H-bonding in polymer chains. The monomer-activated ring-opening polymerization of a functional epoxide monomer,t-butyl glycidoxy acetate, followed by hydrolysis, produced the desired PGA polymers in a controlled manner. The high-level synergistic interplay between the intermolecular and intramolecular H-bonding in the PGA chains was demonstrated with pH-dependent self-association properties in the solution state and stronger adhesion properties in the bulk state compared with the conventional H-bonding mixture of poly(ethylene oxide) and poly(acrylic acid). Furthermore, the molecular dynamics simulations reveal the relative contributions of the respective H-bonding interactions within the polymers in both the solution and the bulk states, thereby highlighting their crucial role in the properties of PGA. Finally, we anticipate the potential applicability of PGA in biological and biomedical fields due to its excellent biocompatibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8478-8487
Number of pages10
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept 28

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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