Helical Crystals with a Sixfold Screw Axis


  • This project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (50703018, 20604018), the Scientific Developing Foundation of Tianjin Education Commission (20050520), and the Outstanding Scholar Program of Nankai University. The authors thank X. X. Zhu and Hanying Zhao for critical reading of the manuscript, Pingchuan Sun, Wei Wang, Hongwei Sun, Ruifang Li, and Yanni Li for useful discussions, Haiyan Du and Yongzhe Che for the measurements, and Wenbin Wang for drawing the 3D images. Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the author.


original image

Double-stranded helical crystals with high axial ratio are prepared from a cholic acid ester. Two processes are involved in the formation of the micrometer-scale self-assembled crystals: 1) the self-assembly of the cholic acid ester to form a hydrogel (the formation of gel fibers); 2) the winding of the gel fibers (laser confocal scanning micrographs show, top: left-handed; bottom: right-handed).