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Self-Assembly of Coordination Chains and Helices


  1. Inhar Imaz,
  2. Daniel Maspoch

Published Online: 15 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470661345.smc077

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

How to Cite

Imaz, I. and Maspoch, D. 2012. Self-Assembly of Coordination Chains and Helices. Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials. .

Author Information

  1. Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology, Cin2(ICN-CSIC), Bellaterra, Spain

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2012


When Robson introduced for the first time the design of coordination polymers (CPs) in 1989, nobody could imagine that this concept would open a fascinating new world in the field of chemistry, materials science, and nanotechnology. Although based on the very simple concept that “multifunctional organic molecules can connect metal ions through the space,” this synthetic strategy has become an invaluable source of new materials with exceptional structures, properties and applications. In fact, since 1989, the progress made on the design, synthesis, and characterization of CPs as well as on the study of their properties and applications has been spectacular. Today, chemists seem to do magic when they use coordination chemistry to connect metal ions through bridging organic ligands, allowing the continuous discovery of novel CPs. In addition, the coordination chemistry has not walked alone! The development of CPs has also been closely accompanied by the rapid evolution and sophistication of the supramolecular chemistry and the crystal engineering. Today, a CP cannot be considered as an isolated object. Their structures, shapes, and properties depend not only on the metal-organic association but also on the supramolecular interaction, such as hydrogen bonds and π–π interactions, existing between each coordination entity. Among the highly diverse family of CPs, the one-dimensional (1D) systems represent the simplest and undoubtedly one of the most abundant topologies in the literature. The simplicity of these topologies confers to these systems high degrees of freedom, and consequently, a large panel of interchains interactions and self-association leading to original architectures with a variety of properties. Thus, in the last years, a large number of novel materials, such as chains and helices, based on the self-assembly of 1D CPs have been reported. In this section, we attempt to give not an exhaustive but a representative overview of self-assembled coordination chains and helices.


  • self-assembly;
  • coordination polymer;
  • nanomaterials;
  • chains;
  • helices