Halogen-bonding-triggered supramolecular gel formation

Lorenzo Meazza, Jonathan A. Foster, Katharina Fucke, Pierangelo Metrangolo, Guiseppe Resnati, Jonathan W. Steed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

289 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Supramolecular gels are topical soft materials involving the reversible formation of fibrous aggregates using non-covalent interactions. There is significant interest in controlling the properties of such materials by the formation of
multicomponent systems, which exhibit non-additive properties emerging from interaction of the components. The use of hydrogen bonding to assemble supramolecular gels in organic solvents is well established. In contrast, the use of halogen bonding to trigger supramolecular gel formation in a two-component gel (‘co-gel’) is essentially unexplored, and forms the
basis for this study. Here, we show that halogen bonding between a pyridyl substituent in a bis(pyridyl urea) and 1,4-diiodotetrafluorobenzene brings about gelation, even in polar media such as aqueous methanol and aqueous
dimethylsulfoxide. This demonstrates that halogen bonding is sufficiently strong to interfere with competing gel-inhibitory interactions and create a ‘tipping point’ in gel assembly. Using this concept, we have prepared a halogen bond donor bis(urea) gelator that forms co-gels with halogen bond acceptors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-47
Number of pages6
JournalNature chemistry
Volume5
Early online date11 Nov 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

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