American Chemical Society
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One-Dimensional Self-Assembly of Polyaromatic Compounds Revealed by Molecular Dynamics Simulations

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journal contribution
posted on 2014-11-06, 00:00 authored by Cuiying Jian, Tian Tang
A series of molecular dynamics simulations were performed on the self-assembly of polyaromatic (PA) compounds in n-heptane. These compounds possess the same PA core but systematically varied side-chain lengths. Regardless of the side-chain lengths, the simulations revealed the formation of one-dimensional (1D) self-assemblies resulting mainly from parallel stacked PA cores. The length over which the parallel stacking persists was found to be 3–5.6 nm. The 1D self-assembly was not observed for the same PA compounds in water or toluene, suggesting the importance of solvent properties in its formation. In particular, n-heptane can prevent the side chains from interfering with PA core stacking while having limited attraction with the cores, which facilitates the 1D self-assembling. These findings, revealed at the molecular level, provide insights into controlling the self-assembling process in the design of optical and electronic nanodevices.