Self-assembled fibrillar networks of a multifaceted chiral squaramide: supramolecular multistimuli-responsive alcogels†
Chiral N,N′-disubstituted squaramide 1 has been found to undergo self-assembly in a variety of alcoholic solvents at low concentrations leading to the formation of novel nanostructured supramolecular alcogels. The gels responded to thermal, mechanical, optical and chemical stimuli. Solubility studies, gelation ability tests and computer modeling of a series of structurally related squaramides proved the existence of a unique combination of non-covalent molecular interactions and favorable hydrophobic/hydrophilic balance in 1 that drive the anisotropic growth of alcogel networks. The results have also revealed a remarkable effect of ultrasound on both the gelation kinetics and the properties of the alcogels.