Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.


Issue 7, 2018
Previous Article Next Article

Self-assembly of bis-salphen compounds: from semiflexible chains to webs of nanorings

Author affiliations

Abstract

The recently-observed self-assembly of certain salphen-based compounds into neuron-like networks of microrings interconnected with nano-thin strings may suggest a new highly-potent tool for nanoscale patterning. However, the mechanism behind such phenomena needs to be clarified before they can be applied in materials design. Here we show that, in contrast with what was initially presumed, the emergence of a “rings-and-rods” pattern is unlikely to be explained by merging, collapse and piercing of vesicles as in previously reported cases of nanorings self-assembly via non-bonding interactions. We propose an alternative explanation: the compounds under study form a 1D coordination polymer, the fibres of which are elastic enough to fold into toroidal globules upon solvent evaporation, while being able to link separate chains into extended networks. This becomes possible because the structure of the compound's scaffold is found to adopt a very different conformation from that inferred in the original work. Based on ab initio and molecular dynamics calculations we propose a step-by-step description of self-assembly process of a supramolecular structure which explains all the observed phenomena in a simple and clear way. The individual roles of the compound' s scaffold structure, coordination centres, functional groups and solvent effects are also explained, opening a route to control the morphology of self-assembled networks and to synthesize new compounds exhibiting similar behaviour.

Graphical abstract: Self-assembly of bis-salphen compounds: from semiflexible chains to webs of nanorings

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
02 Dec 2017
Accepted
12 Jan 2018
First published
12 Jan 2018

Soft Matter, 2018,14, 1181-1194
Article type
Paper

Self-assembly of bis-salphen compounds: from semiflexible chains to webs of nanorings

S. V. Pyrlin, N. D. M. Hine, A. W. Kleij and M. M. D. Ramos, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 1181
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM02371E

Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements