Light-Controlled Formation of Vesicles and Supramolecular Organogels by a Cholesterol-Bearing Amphiphilic Molecular Switch
Jochem T. van Herpt, Jetsuda Areephong, Marc C. A. Stuart, Wesley R. Browne, Ben L. Feringa
Chemistry A European Journal
A new responsive material composed of an amphiphilic light-switchable dithienylethene unit functionalized with a hydrophobic cholesterol unit and a hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol)-modified pyridinium group has been designed. This unique single-molecule system shows responsive light-switchable self-assembly in both water and organic solvents. Light-triggered reversible vesicle formation in aqueous solutions is reported. The molecule shows a different behavior in apolar aromatic solvents, in which light-controlled formation of organogel fibers is observed. The light-triggered aggregation behavior of this molecule demonstrates that control of a supramolecular structure with light can be achieved in both aqueous and organic media and that this ability can be present in a single molecule. This opens the way toward the effective development of new strategies in soft nanotechnology for applications in controlled chemical release systems.
Circular dichroism, Materials