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Self-Assembly of a Strong Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane Core-Based Aspartate Derivative Dendrimer Supramolecular Gelator in Different Polarity Solvents

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journal contribution
posted on 26.10.2017, 00:00 by Huiwen He, Si Chen, Xiaoqian Tong, Zhihang An, Meng Ma, Xiaosong Wang, Xu Wang
Aromatic groups are introduced into the end peripherals of polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) core-based organic/inorganic hybrid supramolecules to get a novel dendrimer gelator POSS-Z-Asp­(OBzl) (POSS-ASP), which have eight aspartate derivative arms to make full use of strong π–π stacking forces to get strong supramolecular gels in addition to multiple hydrogen bindings and van der Waals interactions. POSS-ASP can self-assemble into three-dimensional nanoscale gel networks to provide hybrid physical gels especially with strong mechanical properties and fast-recovery behaviors. Two totally different morphologies of the connected spherical particle structures and banded ultralong fibers are observed owing to the polarity of solvents confirmed by the scanning electron microscopy, polarized optical microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy techniques, expecting the existing various self-assembly models and illustrating the peripherals of the dendrimer and the polarity of solvents having huge influences in the supramolecular self-assembly mechanism. What is more, the thermal stability, rheological properties, and network architecture information have also been investigated via tube-inversion, rotational rheometer, and powder X-ray diffraction methods, the results of which confirm the two different gel formation mechanisms that make POSS-ASP to exhibit two totally different thermal and mechanical properties. Such a study reports a new gelation system in organic or organic/aqueous mixed solvents, which can be helpful for investigating the relationship of dendritic supramolecular gelation and different polarity solvents during the supramolecular self-assembly process of gelators.