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Open Access Nano Express

Regulation of substituent groups on morphologies and self-assembly of organogels based on some azobenzene imide derivatives

Tifeng Jiao12*, Yujin Wang1, Qingrui Zhang1*, Jingxin Zhou1 and Faming Gao1

Author Affiliations

1 Hebei Key Laboratory of Applied Chemistry, School of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Yanshan University, Qinhuangdao 066004, China

2 State Key Laboratory of Solid Lubrication, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:160  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-160

Published: 8 April 2013

Abstract

In this paper, new azobenzene imide derivatives with different substituent groups were designed and synthesized. Their gelation behaviors in 21 solvents were tested as novel low-molecular-mass organic gelators. It was shown that the alkyl substituent chains and headgroups of azobenzene residues in gelators played a crucial role in the gelation behavior of all compounds in various organic solvents. More alkyl chains in molecular skeletons in present gelators are favorable for the gelation of organic solvents. Scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy observations revealed that the gelator molecules self-assemble into different aggregates, from wrinkle, lamella, and belt to fiber with the change of solvents. Spectral studies indicated that there existed different H-bond formations between amide groups and conformations of methyl chains. The present work may give some insight to the design and character of new organogelators and soft materials with special molecular structures.

Keywords:
Organogel; Nanostructures; Self-assembly; Substituent groups; Imide derivative; Azobenzene