Synergistic Coassembly of Two Structurally Different Molecular Gelators.


Coassembly of molecules can produce materials with improved properties and functionalities. To this end, achieving a molecular level understanding of the interactions governing the coassembly is essential. In this work, two molecular gelators with significantly different structures and main intermolecular forces for assembly were coassembled. The elastic moduli of the hybrid gels are more than 1 order of magnitude higher than those of the gels formed by the individual gelators, showing an obvious synergistic effect. The interactions between the gelators were investigated with confocal microscopy and both one-dimensional and two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance. It was found that the two gelators coassemble to form fibers due to the nonspecific van der Waals interactions between their alkyl chains and the specific interactions between their functional groups. Switching from one gelator-dominated fiber network to the other gelator-dominated fiber network was achieved at a critical molar ratio of the gelators. The two gelators serve as additives of each other to tune the nucleation and growth of the fiber networks. The observations of this work are significant to the development of materials with improved properties by coassembly of different molecules.

Cite this paper

@article{Chen2016SynergisticCO, title={Synergistic Coassembly of Two Structurally Different Molecular Gelators.}, author={Jing-yu Chen and Bing Yuan and Zhenyu Li and Bin Tang and Akhil Gupta and Sheshanath-Vishwanath Bhosale and Jing-liang Li}, journal={Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids}, year={2016}, volume={32 46}, pages={12175-12183} }