Final Report Summary - SCPS (Developing sequence controlled polymers for organization, templation and recognition)
DNA achieves well-defined controlled chemistry that is at the heart of the operation of all biological systems. A key component of DNA is it nucleobases and these enable a wide diversity of structure and function. Biopolymers, such as DNA have complex functions and properties as a result of their specific nucleobase monomer sequence. In contrast synthetic polymers can be prepared from a much broader range of monomers, to afford polymers with a variety of structures and architectures and hence a vast range of properties and diversity of applications. However, a primary limitation of current synthetic polymers is their lack of precise structure and hence complex function This work has been inspired by the function of biopolymers and aimed to develop chemical approaches to produce synthetic polymers having new structures, functions and tuneable material properties. The ultimate goal of this proposal was to allow for the expansion of chemical space to bring new function to polymers and also create the opportunity to design new hybrid materials. We aim to bring new function to chemistry, through expanding chemical space by the melding of the complexity and diversity (and indeed precision) of biology with the predictability and high scalability of chemistry. Following the model of DNA, we have designed a class of materials and polymers which have unexpected properties and structures as a result of their precision synthesis and ability to undergo recognition.