Polymer Science Faculty Research


Spontaneous Self-Assembly of γ-Cyclodextrins in Dilute Solutions with Tunable Sizes and Thermodynamic Stability

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Publication Date

Summer 6-20-2015


The behavior in dilute solution of phosphate-functionalized γ-cyclodextrin macroanions with eight charges on the rim was explored. The hydrophilic macroions in mixed solvents show strong attraction between each other, mediated by the counterions, and consequently self-assemble into blackberry-type hollow spherical structures. Time-resolved laser light scattering (LLS) measurements at high temperature ruled out the possibility of hydrogen bonding as the main driving force in the self-assembly and indicated the good thermodynamic stability of assemblies regulated by the charge. The transition from single macroions to blackberries can be tuned by adjusting the content of organic solvent. The sizes of blackberries vary with the charge density of γ-cyclodextrin by adjusting pH. It is the first report that pure cyclodextrins can generate supramolecular structures by themselves in dilute solution. The unique solution behavior of macroions provides a new opportunity to assemble cyclodextrin into functional materials and devices.

Publication Title

Chemistry - A European Journal





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