Supramolecular gelatons: towards the design of molecular gels
The fabrication and application of supramolecular gels have achieved great progress in the past few decades. Although several reviews and books have well summarized the design, properties and functions of certain supramolecular gels, a comprehensive overview is still lacking to reveal the design strategy of the supramolecular gels. In this review, we propose a concept of a supramolecular gelaton, which is a structural unit or molecule for the design and construction of the supramolecular gels, to show how to design the targeted functional gels. We classify the gelaton into two types. One is a covalent gelaton that when covalently connects with other functional groups results in a molecule that can become a gelator. The other type is a non-covalent gelaton, which is a gelator molecule that can assist other gelator or non-gelator molecules to form gels. We hope that the concept of supramolecular gelatons will provide useful guidance and understanding of the design of gelator molecules and preparation of supramolecular gels.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2018 Organic Chemistry Frontiers Review-type Articles