A Polymerizable Photoswitchable Fluorophore for Super-Resolution Imaging of Polymer Self-Assembly and Dynamics

Zhe Qiang, Kevin M. Shebek, Masahiro Irie, Muzhou Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Single-molecule super-resolution microscopy has become a standard imaging tool in the life sciences for visualizing nanostructures in situ, but the application of this technique in polymer science is much less explored. A key bottleneck is the lack of fluorophores and simple covalent attachment strategies onto polymer chains. Here, we report a functional diarylethene-based photoswitchable fluorophore that can be directly incorporated into polymer backbones through copolymerization, which significantly streamlines the labeling strategy, with no further postcoupling reactions or purifications needed. The attachment of fluorophores onto selectively labeled polymers enables super-resolution imaging of a series of model polymer blend systems with different nanostructures and chemical compositions. As each individual fluorophore is able to switch several times on average between its bright and dark state, multiple time-lapse images can be acquired to observe the dynamic nanostructural evolution of polymer blends upon solvent vapor annealing. With this demonstration of a universal, simplified labeling strategy and the ability to image polymer assembly under native conditions, this reported fluorophore may promote the widespread use of super-resolution microscopy in the polymer community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1432-1437
Number of pages6
JournalACS Macro Letters
Volume7
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 18 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A Polymerizable Photoswitchable Fluorophore for Super-Resolution Imaging of Polymer Self-Assembly and Dynamics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this