Ionic Self-Assembly: Facile Synthesis of Supramolecular Materials


  • We thank the Max Planck Society and the Fund of the German Chemical Industry for financial support. We thank for the cooperation with other scientists of the ISA group, especially Ying Guan, Franck Camerel, and Bernd Smarsly.


The technique of ionic self-assembly, i.e., the coupling of structurally different building blocks by electrostatic interactions, a powerful tool to create new material nanostructures and chemical objects, is reviewed. The excellent availability of the starting products (charged tectonic units) and the simplicity of synthesis, by neat addition and cooperative stoichiometric precipitation with high purity, allow the recombinatorial synthesis of a whole range of functional materials and hybrids with interesting and versatile functions. Diverse combinations between polyelectrolytes, surfactants, clusters, and extended rigid organic scaffolds are discussed in detail, and the underlying principles of nanostructure formation are illustrated.