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Issue 10, 2018
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How should multicomponent supramolecular gels be characterised?

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Abstract

Low molecular weight gels, or supramolecular gels, are formed when small molecules self-assemble into fibrous structures. Above a critical concentration, the entanglement and cross-linking of these structures leads to the formation of a self-supporting gel. There are many examples where a single component is used to form such gels. There is however an ever-increasing interest in using multiple components. Here, if each component is able to form a gel by itself, a range of fibre types are possible, formed by either random or specific associations between the low molecular weight gelators (LMWG). The properties of the networks will depend on how the LMWG assemble into the primary fibrous structures and then how these primary structures entangle. As such, to understand these gels, it is necessary to understand the networks across multiple length scales. Here, we discuss the current state of the art, the effectiveness of the different techniques that have been used, and hopefully provide the impetus for the field to move away from the cartoon-level discussion of assembly.

Graphical abstract: How should multicomponent supramolecular gels be characterised?

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Publication details

The article was received on 24 Nov 2017 and first published on 08 Feb 2018


Article type: Tutorial Review
DOI: 10.1039/C7CS00804J
Citation: Chem. Soc. Rev., 2018,47, 3395-3405
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    How should multicomponent supramolecular gels be characterised?

    E. R. Draper and D. J. Adams, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2018, 47, 3395
    DOI: 10.1039/C7CS00804J

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