Low Molecular Weight Gelators: Stimuli-Responsive Supramolecular Gels

[21]crown-7 ethers attached to a bis-urea core result in low molecular weight gelators, which can be controlled by a number of different external stimuli. Seven different logic gates can be constructed with the same gelator by combining suitable inputs including an INHIBIT gate that evaluates three different input signals.

With a slight modification, the gelator can also be used to generate Pickering emulsions. Within the microparticles, enzymes can be trapped. The high interfacial area between the microparticles containing the polar phase and the unpolar organic phase surrounding the particles allows efficient biocatalysis in organic media. The crown ether substituted gelator molecules are furthermore capable of forming switchable gels in ionic liquids (ionogels).

Crown ether-functionalized gelator that undergoes stimuli-triggered gel-sol transitions


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