Hierarchical self-assembly of supramolecular hydrophobic metallacycles into ordered nanostructures

Jing Zhang, Riccardo Marega, Li Jun Chen, Nai Wei Wu, Xing Dong Xu, David C. Muddiman, Davide Bonifazi, Hai Bo Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe herein the hierarchical self-assembly of discrete supramolecular metallacycles into ordered fibers or spherical particles through multiple noncovalent interactions. A new series of well-defined metallacycles decorated with long alkyl chains were obtained through metal-ligand interactions, which were capable of aggregating into ordered fibroid or spherical nanostructures on the surface, mostly driven by hydrophobic interactions. In-depth studies indicated that the morphology diversity was originated from the structural information encoded in the metallacycles, including the number of alkyl chains and their spatial orientation. Interestingly, the morphology of the metallacycle aggregates could be tuned by changing the solvent polarity. These findings are of special significance since they provide a simple yet highly controllable approach to prepare ordered and tunable nanostructures from small building blocks by means of hierarchical self-assembly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2928-2936
Number of pages9
JournalChemistry - An Asian Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014


  • Metallacycles
  • Nanostructures
  • Noncovalent interactions
  • Self-assembly
  • Supramolecular chemistry

Cite this