Tuning the self-assembly of rectangular amphiphilic cruciforms

Fátima García, Rubén D. Costa, Juan Aragó, Henk J. Bolink, Enrique Ortí*, Luis Sánchez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The self-assembly of a series of nonionic amphiphilic cruciforms based on the 1,2,4,5-tetrakis(phenylethynyl)benzene (TPEB) skeleton, in which the peripheral substituents have been modified to modulate the morphology of the supramolecular structures, is reported. The presence of linear paraffinic and hydrophilic chains in TPEBs 1 and 2 gives rise to two-dimensional structures of high aspect ratio. In contrast, the incorporation of dendronized hydrophilic chains results in the formation of twisted ribbons in amphiphile 3 and impedes the organized self-assembly of TPEB 4. Theoretical calculations show that the self-assembly of these amphiphiles might be initiated with the formation of π-stacked dimeric units. Compound 2, which self-assembles into different morphologies depending on the solvent, interacts by π-stacking and also by the interdigitation of the peripheral decyl tails to generate bidimensional supramolecular structures. The steric demand exerted by the dendronized polar wedges in 3 and 4 strongly conditions their supramolecular organization. This steric demand together with the interdigitation of the decyl chains results in the self-assembly of cruciform 3 into helical aggregates. However, the lack of the paraffinic chains in 4 impedes this helical organization, and the formation of amorphous material is visualized. The joint experimental and theoretical study presented herein provides relevant guidelines for the modulated self-assembly of nonionic amphiphilic molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5957-5964
Number of pages8
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May 27
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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