The binding of imidazolium salts to cucurbituril, CB, triggers a stepwise self-assembly process with semiflexible polymer chains and crystalline nanostructures as early- and late-stage species, respectively. In such a process, which involves the crystallization of the host-guest complexes, the guest plays a critical role in directing self-assembly toward desirable morphologies. These include platelet-like aggregates and two-dimensional (2D) fibers, which, moreover, exhibit viscoelastic and lyotropic properties. Our observations provide a deeper understanding of the self-assembly of CB complexes, with fundamental implications in the design of functional 2D systems and crystalline materials.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.