Self-Assembly and (Hydro)gelation Triggered by Cooperative π–π and Unconventional C[BOND]H⋅⋅⋅X Hydrogen Bonding Interactions


  • We thank Prof. Frank Würthner for many helpful discussions and his support, Ana Reviejo for graphic design, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for financial support (Sofja Kovalevskaja Program).


Weak C[BOND]H⋅⋅⋅X hydrogen bonds are important stabilizing forces in crystal engineering and anion recognition in solution. In contrast, their quantitative influence on the stabilization of supramolecular polymers or gels has thus far remained unexplored. Herein, we report an oligophenyleneethynylene (OPE)-based amphiphilic PtII complex that forms supramolecular polymeric structures in aqueous and polar media driven by π–π and different weak C-H⋅⋅⋅X (X=Cl, O) interactions involving chlorine atoms attached to the PtII centers as well as oxygen atoms and polarized methylene groups belonging to the peripheral glycol chains. A collection of experimental techniques (UV/Vis, 1D and 2D NMR, DLS, AFM, SEM, and X-Ray diffraction) demonstrate that the interplay between different weak noncovalent interactions leads to the cooperative formation of self-assembled structures of high aspect ratio and gels in which the molecular arrangement is maintained in the crystalline state.