Exploiting and controlling gel-to-crystal transitions in multicomponent supramolecular gels†
Multicomponent supramolecular gels provide opportunities to form materials that are not accessible when using the single components alone. Different scenarios are possible when mixing multiple components, from complete co-assembly (mixing of the components within the self-assembled structures formed) to complete self-sorting such that each structure contains only one of the components. Most examples of multicomponent gels that currently exist form stable gels. Here, we show that this can be used to control the mechanical properties of the gels, but what is probably most exciting is that we show that we can use a magnetic field to control the shape of the crystals. The gelling component aligns in a magnetic field and so results in anisotropic crystals being formed.