Aqueous self-assembly of chromophore-conjugated amphiphiles
The self-assembly of π-conjugated building blocks has been a topic of interest in last few years owing to their close relevance to optoelectronic device applications. If such building blocks are made amphiphilic by appropriate derivatization, then the self-assembly can be realized in water by the strong hydrophobic repulsive forces between the polar medium and the rigid π-surface. On the other hand, as π–π interactions are directional, such self-assembly can produce structurally precise nano-structures, compared to classical surfactants. With these objectives, the self-assembly of several amphiphilic π-systems has been studied in the recent past and is described in this article. Examples include electron-deficient, electron-rich and also mixed assemblies of donor and acceptor type chromophores which produce many elegant soft structures such as micelles, vesicle, nanotubes and fibres etc.