Dedicated to Prof. Helmut Ringsdorf on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
Tuning the Amphiphilicity of Building Blocks: Controlled Self-Assembly and Disassembly for Functional Supramolecular Materials†
Article first published online: 2 JUN 2009
Copyright © 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
Volume 21, Issue 28, pages 2849–2864, July 27, 2009
How to Cite
Wang, Y., Xu, H. and Zhang, X. (2009), Tuning the Amphiphilicity of Building Blocks: Controlled Self-Assembly and Disassembly for Functional Supramolecular Materials. Adv. Mater., 21: 2849–2864. doi: 10.1002/adma.200803276
- Issue published online: 27 JUL 2009
- Article first published online: 2 JUN 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 13 MAR 2009
- Manuscript Received: 7 NOV 2008
- National Basic Research Program of China. Grant Number: 2007CB808000
- National Natural Science Foundation of China. Grant Numbers: 20574040, 20473045, 50573042
- NSFC-DFG joint fund. Grant Number: TRR 61
- supramolecular materials
Amphiphilicity is one of the molecular bases for self-assembly. By tuning the amphiphilicity of building blocks, controllable self-assembly can be realized. This article reviews different routes for tuning amphiphilicity and discusses different possibilities for self-assembly and disassembly in a controlled manner. In general, this includes irreversible and reversible routes. The irreversible routes concern irreversible reactions taking place on the building blocks and changing their molecular amphiphilicity. The building blocks are then able to self-assemble to form different supramolecular structures, but cannot remain stable upon loss of amphiphilicity. Compared to the irreversible routes, the reversible routes are more attractive due to the good control over the assembly and disassembly of the supramolecular structure formed via tuning of the amphiphilicity. These routes involve reversible chemical reactions and supramolecular approaches, and different external stimuli can be used to trigger reversible changes of amphiphilicity, including light, redox, pH, and enzymes. It is anticipated that this line of research can lead to the fabrication of new functional supramolecular assemblies and materials.