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Keywords:

  • ion-pair formation;
  • self-assembly;
  • supramolecular chemistry;
  • vesicles;
  • zwitterions
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Small molecule, large structures: The connection of two zwitterionic binding motifs with a lipophilic alkyl linker results in an amphiphilic bis-zwitterion, which forms self-assembled vesicles even in polar solutions. The data suggest that two bis-zwitterions dimerize and then further aggregate to form vesicles, most likely driven by H-bonding and van der Waals interactions between the linkers.