Acylhydrazone-based supramolecular assemblies undergoing a converse sol-to-gel transition on transcis photoisomerization

Abstract

Photoisomeric supramolecular assemblies have drawn enormous attention in recent years. Although it is a general rule that photoisomerization from a less to a more distorted isomer causes the destruction of assemblies, this photoisomerization process inducing a converse transition from irregular aggregates to regular assemblies is still a great challenge. Here, we report a converse sol-to-gel transition derived from the planar to nonplanar photoisomer conversion, which is in sharp contrast to the conventional light-induced gel collapse. A well-designed acylhydrazone-linked monomer is exploited as a photoisomer to realize the above-mentioned phase transition. In the monomer, imine is responsible for transcis interconversion and amide generates intermolecular hydrogen bonds enabling the photoisomerization-driven self-assembly. The counterintuitive feature of the sol-to-gel transition is ascribed to the partial transcis photoisomerization of acylhydrazone causing changes in stacking mode of monomers. Furthermore, the reversible phase transition is applied in the valves formed in situ in microfluidic devices, providing fascinating potential for miniature materials.

Graphical abstract: Acylhydrazone-based supramolecular assemblies undergoing a converse sol-to-gel transition on trans → cis photoisomerization

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
Edge Article
Submitted
22 Mar 2022
Accepted
14 Jun 2022
First published
16 Jun 2022
This article is Open Access

All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry
Creative Commons BY-NC license

Chem. Sci., 2022, Advance Article

Acylhydrazone-based supramolecular assemblies undergoing a converse sol-to-gel transition on transcis photoisomerization

Z. Gao, F. Yan, L. Shi, Y. Han, S. Qiu, J. Zhang, F. Wang, S. Wu and W. Tian, Chem. Sci., 2022, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D2SC01657E

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