Story of the Week  
Molecular Starbursts

Synthetic polymers in spite of their many attractive features suffer from a serious disadvantage. Even in well-controlled polymerization pathways the chain lengths as well as the molecular structure of the various individual chains present in a given macromolecule are not the same. Dendrimers or Star-burst molecules are hyper branched macromolecules with high surface area and structural symmetry which retain the advantages of the macromolecules while avoiding the structural imprecision found in the latter. In fact the structure and function of star-burst molecules can be controlled and modulated. In general dendrimers contain a central core with a highly branched periphery. Peripheral and internal functionalization of these star-burst molecules with chemically interesting groups can lead to generation of applications ranging from catalysis to electrode modification. Our group has been involved in the use of inorganic cores for building star-burst type molecules containing a periphery that is either electro active and or catalytically active. A representative example of this approach is a hexaferrocenyl unit supported on a central stannoxane core. The synthesis of this redox-active assembly was accomplished quantitatively in a one-pot single-step procedure. We anticipate that our methodology will lead to the synthesis of a library of star-burst molecules with interesting applications.

A hexa-ferrocenyl assembly supported on a central stannoxane support


Professor V Chandrasekhar
Department of Chemistry
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

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