The relationship between molecular structure and supramolecular morphology in the self-assembly of rod–coil molecules with oligoether chains†
Controlling the morphology of rod–coil molecular aggregates is crucial for studying and obtaining functional materials with exceptional properties. In this paper, we report the construction of rod–coil molecular nanoaggregates with well-defined structures. The rod–coil molecules, labeled 1a–1d, consist of a rod section, composed of phenyl and biphenyl groups, and oligoether chains with 7 and 12 repeating units. The final assembled structures showed either oblique or hexagonal columnar structures, depending on the length of the coils in the bulk state. Interestingly, in water, molecules 1a and 1c self-assemble into scrolled nanofibers and cylindrical micelles. Instead, molecules 1b and 1d, which have methyl groups decorated at the interface of the rod and coil sections, self-organize into helical nanofibers and nanorings, respectively. Thus, controlling the length of the coil chains and inserting lateral methyl groups is an effective strategy to construct precise rod–coil molecular assemblies in the bulk and in aqueous solution.