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Emerging Two-Dimensional Crystallization of Cucurbit[8]uril Complexes: From Supramolecular Polymers to Nanofibers

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journal contribution
posted on 28.08.2019, 15:41 by Jesús del Barrio, Ji Liu, Ryan A. Brady, Cindy S. Y. Tan, Stefano Chiodini, Maria Ricci, Rafael Fernández-Leiro, Ching-Ju Tsai, Panagiota Vasileiadi, Lorenzo Di Michele, Didier Lairez, Chris Toprakcioglu, Oren A. Scherman
The binding of imidazolium salts to cucurbit[8]­uril, CB[8], triggers a stepwise self-assembly process with semiflexible polymer chains and crystalline nanostructures as early- and late-stage species, respectively. In such a process, which involves the crystallization of the host–guest complexes, the guest plays a critical role in directing self-assembly toward desirable morphologies. These include platelet-like aggregates and two-dimensional (2D) fibers, which, moreover, exhibit viscoelastic and lyotropic properties. Our observations provide a deeper understanding of the self-assembly of CB[8] complexes, with fundamental implications in the design of functional 2D systems and crystalline materials.