Poly(-N-butyl--L-aspartate) (PANBLA) is nylon-3 derivative in which an alcoxycarbonyl group has been stereoregularly attached to -carbon of the repeating unit. Like poly(-isobutyl--L-aspartate) (PAIBLA) exists in two helical forms, namely hexagonal form (13/4 helix) and tetragonal form (4/1 helix), were characterized by X-ray diffraction. The hexagonal form appears to be poorly crystalline and it could not be obtained well oriented. On the other hand tetragonal form turns to be highly crystalline. Both molecular mechanics calculations and the linked-atom least square (LALS) methodology using X-ray diffraction data have revealed that an antiparallel packing of 13/4 helices with a right handed (2R) scheme of hydrogen bonds is most favourable for hexagonal form of PANBLA. Regarding tetragonal form the above techniques favour a parallel arrangement of 4/1 helices according to right handed 4R model. IR dichroism studies also support the above results. Although the vibrational dynamics of both forms of PAIBLA has been studied, no such study has been performed for PANBLA. In the present communication the vibrational dynamics of PANBLA in tetragonal form (4/1 helix) has been studied through the dispersion of normal modes. The effect of side chain nature on the dynamical behaviour has also been analyzed. Apart from detailed assignments of modes, various characteristic features of dispersion curves have been explained as arising due to internal symmetry in energy momentum space. Finally, the density of states has been used to calculate heat capacity of this polymer.
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