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25th Anniversary Article: Reversible and Adaptive Functional Supramolecular Materials: “Noncovalent Interaction” Matters



Supramolecular materials held together by noncovalent interactions, such as hydrogen bonding, host–guest interactions, and electrostatic interactions, have great potential in material science. The unique reversibility and adaptivity of noncovalent intreractions have brought about fascinating new functions that are not available by their covalent counterparts and have greatly enriched the realm of functional materials. This review article aims to highlight the very recent and important progresses in the area of functional supramoleuclar materials, focusing on adaptive mechanical materials, smart sensors with enhanced selectivity, soft luminescent and electronic nanomaterials, and biomimetic and biomedical materials with tailored structures and functions. We cannot write a complete account of all the interesting work in this area in one article, but we hope that it can in a way reflect the current situation and future trends in this prosperously developing area of functional supramolecular materials.