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Amide-linked tripyridine derivatives 1, with a para-substituent, and 2, with a meta-substituent, were gelated in water or water–DMSO. The gelation capabilities of 1 and 2 were attributed to the cooperative effects of mainly CH–π and π–π stacking or strong intermolecular hydrogen bonding interactions between the amide groups. The fluorescence properties of gels 1 and 2 were dependent on the binding strength of the π–π stacking.
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