Recent advances in photoresponsive supramolecular self-assemblies
Construction of supramolecular self-assemblies whose self-assembling process and self-assembled architectures can be controlled by external stimuli is a fascinating and challenging topic for supramolecular chemists. The modification of photochromic molecules with noncovalent interaction sites or the incorporation of photochromic molecules into self-assembling modules makes light an ideal external input, providing high-performance photoresponsive multicomponent self-assemblies. Among such systems, in this tutorial review we deal with several photoresponsive supramolecular self-assemblies showing a unique mechanism and/or type of photoresponse. These examples illustrate that we would be able to produce further new photoresponsive molecular ensembles if one can elaborately hybridize photochromic molecules to specifically-designed supramolecular self-assemblies. We believe that the accumulation of insight into the construction principle, mechanism and concept of such smart supramolecular self-assemblies should realize practical smart functional materials.