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Dipeptide-Based Low-Molecular-Weight Efficient Organogelators and Their Application in Water Purification

Authors

  • Sisir Debnath,

    1. Department of Biological Chemistry, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Jadavpur, Kolkata 700032 (India), Fax: (+91) 33-2473-2805
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  • Anshupriya Shome,

    1. Department of Biological Chemistry, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Jadavpur, Kolkata 700032 (India), Fax: (+91) 33-2473-2805
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  • Sounak Dutta,

    1. Department of Biological Chemistry, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Jadavpur, Kolkata 700032 (India), Fax: (+91) 33-2473-2805
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  • Prasanta Kumar Das Dr.

    1. Department of Biological Chemistry, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Jadavpur, Kolkata 700032 (India), Fax: (+91) 33-2473-2805
    2. Also at Centre for Advanced Materials, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Jadavpur, Kolkata 700032 (India)
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Abstract

The development of new low-molecular-weight gelators for organic solvents is motivated by several potential applications of gels as advanced functional materials. In the present study, we developed simple dipeptide-based organogelators with a minimum gelation concentration (MGC) of 6–0.15 %, w/v in aromatic solvents. The organogelators were synthesized using different L-amino acids with nonpolar aliphatic/aromatic residues and by varying alkyl-chain length (C-12 to C-16). The self-aggregation behavior of these thermoreversible organogels was investigated through several spectroscopic and microscopic techniques. A balanced participation of the hydrogen bonding and van der Waals interactions is crucial for efficient organogelation, which can be largely modulated by the structural modification at the hydrogen-bonding unit as well as by varying the alkyl-chain length in both sides of the hydrophilic residue. Interestingly, these organogelators could selectively gelate aromatic solvents from their mixtures with water. Furthermore, the xerogels prepared from the organogels showed a striking property of adsorbing dyes such as crystal violet, rhodamine 6G from water. This dye-adsorption ability of gelators can be utilized in water purification by removing toxic dyes from wastewater.

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