Hierarchically Organized Superstructure Emerging from the Exquisite Association of Inorganic Crystals, Organic Polymers, and Dyes: A Model Approach Towards Suprabiomineral Materials


  • This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (No. 15560587) and the 21st Century COE program “KEIO Life Conjugated Chemistry,” from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Japan. We thank Mr. Mitani for skillful technical support of the EF-TEM observations. One of the authors (Y. O.) is grateful for the JSPS research fellowship for young scientists. Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the authors.


We report a novel hierarchically organized superstructure emerging from an exquisite association of inorganic crystals, organic polymers, and dyes. The resultant K2SO4/poly(acrylic acid) composite includes five different tiers from the nanoscopic to the macroscopic. An additional new tier leading to functionality is formed by the incorporation of organic dyes that are organized in a nanospace. The emergent superstructure and properties are designed through changes in polymer concentration. The multiple roles of the polymer realize the generation of the architecture at each size scale. This model approach should be widely applicable to other systems, allowing for the preparation of innovative materials by an appropriate combination of crystals, polymers, and functional molecules.