Walkiewicz, Anna Ewa (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Chirality, familiar to all chemists, is usually applied to molecules or assemblies of molecules and plays an important role in both animate and inanimate systems. It is commonly the case that chirality of a system arises from a chiral building block yet chiral systems can also emerge from achiral units. The objective of this research was to investigate the origin and recognition of chirality at the nanoscale level. To do this, self assembled monolayers made of chirally and achirally tailed molecules were used because such structures are known to form uniform surfaces, which can act as either a source of nucleation or the probing surfaces in chiral recognition. The strategy adopted in the first part of this study was to use chirally modified self assembled monolayers as a source of nucleation for crystallization of achiral compounds that can form either left or right tended forms in chiral crystallization. Such compounds, widely reviewed by Matsura, form chiral crystals even though their building blocks lack a chiral centre. This study presents experiments of induction of chirality in sodium chlorate, hippuric acid and 2,6-ditertbutyl-4-methylphenol crystals. Chiral crystallization of chosen compounds was conducted on D and L cysteine surfaces assembled on gold. The chirality of crystals grown on these surfaces was determined using polarised light microscopy, circular dichroism spectroscopy and NSOM. The small enantiomeric excess achieved in experiments was explained by the limits of chirality determination methods. It was found that crystals formed in enantiomeric excess were of opposite chirality to the SAM they were grown on. This confirms previous results presented by Mastai on crystallization of histidine on cysteine surfaces. The second part of this study presents studies of chiral recognition use of AFM technique-Force Distance Spectroscopy. Chirally and achirally modified SAMs were formed via the Cu-AAC reaction commonly called 'click Chemistry'. This project investigated how the surface preparation influences chiral recognition and if the presence of the second chiral centre affects probing ability. For surface preparation, three types of linkers were used. To functionalize them two complementary compounds equipped with AlaAlaDL and AlaAlaLL dipeptide tail were used. Additional studies were carried out with hippuric acid and glutamic acid-modified SAMs. These studies showed that the way the surface is prepared plays an important role in chiral recognition. In the final recognition experiments it was found that use of molecules possessing either peptide groups or amino acid groups generates additional forces between interacting surfaces, which can be equilibrated by conducting measurements in pH close to their isoelectric point. An influence of the second chiral centre was found for the loosely packed surfaces where the molecules can freely coil.
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