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Self-Assembling Fibrillar Networks—Supramolecular Gels

Soft Matter

  1. David K. Smith

Published Online: 15 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470661345.smc142

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

How to Cite

Smith, D. K. 2012. Self-Assembling Fibrillar Networks—Supramolecular Gels. Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials. .

Author Information

  1. University of York, York, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2012


Self-assembled fibrillar gels have developed into an important class of supramolecular nanomaterial in which molecular-scale building blocks hierarchically assemble into nanostructured systems with intriguing macroscopic properties. This chapter provides an overview of supramolecular gels, placing them clearly in a historical context and explaining how they can be investigated experimentally. This chapter then explores how key principles of molecular recognition and self-assembly can be used to rationalize and predict their behavior. Different classes of gelator are explored in terms of the structures of the molecular-scale building blocks. Finally, the chapter focuses on the unique features of gel-phase materials, and the way in which they can be exploited to develop a wide range of new applications—from oil-spill remediation and artwork conservation to nanoscale electronics and tissue engineering.


  • gel;
  • gelator;
  • self-assembly;
  • fiber;
  • network;
  • soft matter;
  • supramolecular chemistry