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Blending Gelators to Tune Gel Structure and Probe Anion-Induced Disassembly

DOI: 10.1002/chem.201303153 DOI Help
PMID: 24302604 PMID Help

Authors: Jonathan A. Foster (University of Durham) , Robert Edkins (Durham University) , Gary J. Cameron (University of Durham) , Neil Colgin (University of Durham) , Katharina Fucke (University of Durham) , Sam Ridgeway (University of Durham) , Andrew G. Crawford (University of Durham) , Todd B. Marder (Institut für Anorganische Chemie, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg) , Andrew Beeby (University of Durham) , Steven L. Cobb (University of Durham) , Jonathan W. Steed (University of Durham)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Chemistry - A European Journal , VOL 20 (1) , PAGES 279 - 291

State: Published (Approved)
Published: January 2014
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 6749

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Blending different low molecular weight gelators (LMWGs) provides a convenient route to tune the properties of a gel and incorporate functionalities such as fluorescence. Blending a series of gelators having a common bis-urea motif, and functionalised with different amino acid-derived end-groups and differing length alkylene spacers is reported. Fluorescent gelators incorporating 1- and 2-pyrenyl moieties provide a probe of the mixed systems alongside structural and morphological data from powder diffraction and electron microscopy. Characterisation of the individual gelators reveals that although the expected a-urea tape motif is preserved, there is considerable variation in the gelation properties, molecular packing, fibre morphology and rheological behaviour. Mixing of the gelators revealed examples in which: 1) the gels formed separate, orthogonal networks maintaining their own packing and morphology, 2) the gels blended together into a single network, either adopting the packing and morphology of one gelator, or 3) a new structure not seen for either of the gelators individually was created. The strong binding of the urea functionalities to anions was exploited as a means of breaking down the gel structure, and the use of fluorescent gel blends provides new insights into anion-mediated gel dissolution.

Subject Areas: Chemistry, Materials

Instruments: I19-Small Molecule Single Crystal Diffraction

Added On: 19/09/2014 12:45

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