The difference in the morphology and crystallization aspects of hydrogen-bond-mediated self-assembling systems with single and double hydrogen-bonding motifs is studied here with carbamates as an example. These carbamates have alkyl side chains of various lengths, from C4 to C18. The biscarbamates with double hydrogen-bonding sites and symmetric substitution of alkyl segments show a significantly different morphological behavior as compared to the N-octadecyl carbamate alkyl esters (ref 5, referred to as simple carbamates henceforth) with a single hydrogen-bond motif and asymmetric substitution of alkyl side chains. In contrast to the simple carbamates in which no significant difference was found in the spherulite size from C4 to C12, with the biscarbamates we find that the spherulitic size, rate of growth of spherulites, and rate of crystallization show a maximum with an alkyl chain length of C8. This is rationalized in terms of the relative contributions of the hydrogen-bond and van der Waals interaction energies. Oriented X-ray diffraction patterns from the fibrils of the spherulites lead to a model for the growth patterns of the hydrogen-bond planes and the molecular orientation in the spherulites.

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Journal Journal of Physical Chemistry B
Khanna, S. (Shalini), Moniruzzaman, M. (Mohammad), & Sundararajan, P. (2006). Influence of single versus double hydrogen-bonding motif on the crystallization and morphology of self-assembling carbamates with alkyl side chains: Model system for polyurethanes. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 110(31), 15251–15260. doi:10.1021/jp0619843