Intercalation and flexibility chemistries of soft layered materials
Layered materials, alternate stackings of two or more components, are found in a wide range of scales. Chemists can design and synthesize layered structures containing functional units. The soft-type layered materials exhibit characteristic dynamic functions originating from two-dimensional (2D) anisotropy and structure flexibility. This feature article focuses on “intercalation” and “flexibility” as two new perspectives for designing soft layered materials. Intercalation of guests is a characteristic approach for design of layered structures. Flexibility is an important factor to control the dynamic functions of the layered structures. As a model case, the intercalation-induced tunable stimuli-responsive color-change properties of layered polydiacetylene (PDA) are introduced to study the impact of the intercalation and flexibility on the dynamic functions. Recently, layered materials have drastically expanded the research area from conventional rigid inorganic compounds to new self-assembled nanostructures consisting of organic components, such as polymers, metal–organic frameworks, and covalent-organic frameworks. These new layered architectures have potentials for exhibiting dynamic functions originating from the structure flexibility beyond the static properties originating from classical intercalation and host–guest chemistries. Therefore, intercalation and flexibility chemistries of soft layered materials are regarded as new perspectives for design of advanced dynamic functional materials.