Janus-type dendrimer-like poly(ethylene oxide)s

Xiaoshuang Feng, Daniel Taton*, Emmanuel Ibarboure, Elliot L. Chaikof, Yves Gnanou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


A straightforward and original methodology allowing the synthesis of Janus-type dendrimer-like poly(ethylene oxide)s (PEOs) carrying orthogonal functional groups on their surface is described. The use of 3-allyloxy-1,2- propanediol (1) as a latent AB2-type heterofunctional initiator of anionic ring-opening polymerization (AROP) of ethylene oxide (EO) and of selective branching agents of PEO chain ends served to construct the two dendrons of these dendrimer-like PEOs, following a divergent pathway. Thus, the first PEO generation of the first dendron was grown by AROP from 1 followed by the reaction of the corresponding α-allyl,ω,ω′- bishydroxy- heterofunctional PEO derivative with 2-(3′- chloromethybenzyloxymethyl)-2-methyl-5,5-dimethyl-1,3-dioxane (2) used as a branching agent. This afforded the dendron A with four latent peripheral hydroxyls protected in the form of two ketal rings. The remaining α-allylic double bond of the PEO thus prepared was transformed into two hydroxyl groups using OsO4 in order to create the first PEO generation of the dendron B by AROP of EO. Allyl chloride (3) was then used as another (latent) branching agent to react with the terminal hydroxyl of the corresponding PEO chains. Deprotection under acidic conditions of the ketal groups of dendron A, followed by AROP of EO, afforded the second PEO generation on this face. This alternate and divergent procedure, combining AROP of EO and selective branching of PEO branches, could be readily iterated, one dendron after the other up to the generation six, leading to a Janus-type dendrimer-like PEO exhibiting a total mass of around 300 kg/mol and possessing 64 peripheral groups on each face. The possibility of orthogonal functionalization of the surfaces of such Janus-type dendritic PEOs was exploited. Indeed, a dendron of generation 4 was functionalized with hydroxyl functions at its periphery, whereas the other was end-capped with either tertiary amino or disulfide groups. In a variant of this strategy, azido groups and acetylene could also be orthogonally introduced at the periphery of the fourth generation Janus-type dendrimer-like PEO and subjected to polycondensation by a 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reaction. This afforded a necklace-like covalent assembly of dendrimer-like PEOs through the formation of stable [1,2,3]-triazole linkages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11662-11676
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number35
StatePublished - Sep 3 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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