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Control over the formation of supramolecular material objects using reaction–diffusion

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Abstract

Controlled diffusion, reaction and assembly of hydrogelator precursors can be used to create soft hydrogel objects of defined shape and size. In this study we show that controlling local reaction kinetics by means of pH, diffusion length and the concentrations of reactants allows control over the dimensions of formed supramolecular structures. By correlating a reaction diffusion model to experimental results, we show that the influence of all these control parameters can be unified using the Damköhler number, thus providing an easy-to-use relation between experimental parameters and structure dimensions. Finally, our study suggests that control over concentration gradients and chemical reactivity in combination with supramolecular chemistry is a promising platform for the design of soft matter objects of defined sizes, a concept that has received little attention up until now.

Graphical abstract: Control over the formation of supramolecular material objects using reaction–diffusion

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Dec 2018, accepted on 22 Apr 2019 and first published on 22 Apr 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM02588F
Soft Matter, 2019, Advance Article

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    Control over the formation of supramolecular material objects using reaction–diffusion

    M. Lovrak, W. E. Hendriksen, M. T. Kreutzer, V. van Steijn, R. Eelkema and J. H. van Esch, Soft Matter, 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8SM02588F

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