Issue 16, 2013

Characterization of supramolecular gels


Supramolecular gels are a fascinating class of soft materials. Their gelators can self-assemble into nano- or micro-scale superstructures, such as fibers, ribbons, sheets and spheres in an appropriate solvent, thereby resulting in the formation of 3D networks. The dynamic and reversible nature of the non-covalent interactions that contribute to the formation of these network structures together gives these supramolecular gels the inherent ability to respond to external stimuli. However, the dynamic nature of supramolecular gels, which endows them with unique properties, makes their characterization diversified at the same time. Therefore, we present here a review summarizing various methods for characterizing supramolecular gels, including nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, computational techniques, X-ray techniques, microscopy techniques, dynamic light scattering, thermal analysis, and rheology. Based on the gelation mechanisms and influencing factors of supramolecular gels, suitable and sufficient characterization methods should be carefully employed to make full use of their respective advantages to better investigate these materials.

Graphical abstract: Characterization of supramolecular gels

Article information

Article type
Review Article
28 Feb 2013
First published
07 Jun 2013

Chem. Soc. Rev., 2013,42, 6697-6722

Characterization of supramolecular gels

G. Yu, X. Yan, C. Han and F. Huang, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2013, 42, 6697 DOI: 10.1039/C3CS60080G

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