Topics in Current Chemistry Volume 210, 2000, pp 1-67
Date: 29 Jun 2000

Polyester and Ester Functionalized Dendrimers

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Demand for smart and functional materials has raised the importance of the research of dendritic (Greek = tree-like) molecules in organic and polymer chemistry due to their novel physical and mechanical properties. The properties of linear polymers as well as small discrete molecules are combined in this new architectural class of macromolecules, that can be divided into two families: dendrimers and hyperbranched macromolecules, that differ in their branching sequences. Dendrimers contain symmetrically arranged branches emanating from a core molecule together with a well-defined number of end groups corresponding to each generation. This results in an almost monodisperse three-dimensional globular shape providing internal niches capable of encapsulation of guest molecules or molecular recognition. Hyperbranched macromolecules, synthesized in one-step reactions, are randomly branched and contain more defects, i.e. linear and terminal segments, being less homogenic than dendrimers. High chemical reactivity, low viscosity, high solubility and miscibility offer unique tools to modify and tailor properties in particular fields, such as adhesives and coatings, agrochemistry, catalysts, chemical and biosensors, cosmetics, inks and toners, lubricants, magnetic resonance imaging agents, membranes, micelle and virus mimicking, molecular recognition, nano devices, pharmaceuticals, self-organizing assemblies, thermoplastics and thermosets, and viscosity modifiers.

A short introduction to the first dendritic molecules is accompanied by an illustrated review of dendrimers with polyester functions. In addition future aspects and developments are briefly discussed.

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