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Issue 18, 2012
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Supramolecular gels formed from multi-component low molecular weight species

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Abstract

Low molecular weight supramolecular gels consist of small molecules (gelators) that in an appropriate solvent self-assemble into nano- or micro-scale network structures resulting in the formation of a gel. Most supramolecular gels consist of two parts, namely the solvent and the gelator. However, the concept of multi-component supramolecular gels, in which more than one compound is added to the solvent, offers a facile way (e.g. by changing the ratio of the different components) to tailor the properties of the gel. The simplest multi-component gels consist of two components added to the solvent and are the most widely studied to date. There are three general classes of such multi-component gels that have been investigated. The first class requires all the added components to access the gel; that is, no component forms a gel on its own. A second class uses two (or more) gelators which can either co-assemble or self-sort into distinct assemblies and the final class consists of one (or more) gelator and one (or more) non-gelling additive which can impact the assembly process of the gelator and therefore the gel's properties.

Graphical abstract: Supramolecular gels formed from multi-component low molecular weight species

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Mar 2012 and first published on 07 Jun 2012


Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/C2CS35106D
Citation: Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012,41, 6089-6102
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    Supramolecular gels formed from multi-component low molecular weight species

    L. E. Buerkle and S. J. Rowan, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 6089
    DOI: 10.1039/C2CS35106D

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