One-dimensional self-assembly of perylene-diimide dyes by unidirectional transit of zeolite channel openings†
Confined supramolecular architectures of chromophores are key components in artificial antenna composites for solar energy harvesting and storage. A typical fabrication process, based on the insertion of dye molecules into zeolite channels, is still unknown at the molecular level. We show that slipping of perylene diimide dyes into the one-dimensional channels of zeolite L and travelling inside is only possible because of steric-interaction-induced cooperative vibrational modes of the host and the guest. The funnel-like structure of the channel opening, larger at the entrance, along with a directionally asymmetric entrance–exit probability, ensures a favorable self-assembly process of the perylene units.