Mono-molecule-layer nano-ribbons formed by self-assembly of bolaamphiphiles

Image credit: RSC


Amphiphilic molecules generally tend to organize spontaneously into spherical or cylindrical micelles/vesicles in appropriate liquid media and conditions, and seldom form two dimensional (2D) planar structures with a regular shape, due to their energetically unfavorable state. Herein, the self-assembly of a new bolaamphiphile bearing a bistriazole-pyrene unit leads to the formation of mono-molecule-layer nano-ribbons. The π–π stacking interaction between the rigid bistriazole-pyrene units and electrostatic screening contributed by the aromatic counterion tosyl groups are responsible for the 2D alignment of the molecules in the aggregate. Partial replacement of the tosyl groups causes a reduction in the width of the nano-ribbons and the coordination of triazole with Pd$^{2+}$ ions results in the collapse of the self-assembled structure. This study supplies new clues for fabricating molecular level 2D nanostructures by bottom-up supramolecular assembly.