Supramolecular gels formed from multi-component low molecular weight species

Lauren E. Buerkle, Stuart J. Rowan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

627 Citations (Scopus)


Low molecular weight supramolecular gels consist of small molecules (gelators) that in an appropriate solvent self-assemble into nano- or micro-scale network structures resulting in the formation of a gel. Most supramolecular gels consist of two parts, namely the solvent and the gelator. However, the concept of multi-component supramolecular gels, in which more than one compound is added to the solvent, offers a facile way (e.g. by changing the ratio of the different components) to tailor the properties of the gel. The simplest multi-component gels consist of two components added to the solvent and are the most widely studied to date. There are three general classes of such multi-component gels that have been investigated. The first class requires all the added components to access the gel; that is, no component forms a gel on its own. A second class uses two (or more) gelators which can either co-assemble or self-sort into distinct assemblies and the final class consists of one (or more) gelator and one (or more) non-gelling additive which can impact the assembly process of the gelator and therefore the gel's properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6089-6102
Number of pages14
JournalChemical Society Reviews
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sept 21
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Supramolecular gels formed from multi-component low molecular weight species'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this