Open Access Nano Express

Spacer effect on nanostructures and self-assembly in organogels via some bolaform cholesteryl imide derivatives with different spacers

Tifeng Jiao12*, Fengqing Gao1, 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, 8:406  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-406

Published: 2 October 2013

Abstract

In this paper, new bolaform cholesteryl imide derivatives with different spacers were designed and synthesized. Their gelation behaviors in 23 solvents were investigated, and some of them were found to be low molecular mass organic gelators. The experimental results indicated that these as-formed organogels can be regulated by changing the flexible/rigid segments in spacers and organic solvents. Suitable combination of flexible/rigid segments in molecular spacers in the present cholesteryl gelators is 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 and belt to fiber with the change of spacers and solvents. Spectral studies indicated that there existed different H-bond formations between imide groups and assembly modes, depending on the substituent spacers in molecular skeletons. The present work may give some insight into the design and character of new organogelators and soft materials with special molecular structures.

Keywords:
Organogel; Nanostructures; Self-assembly; Spacer effect; Imide derivative; Cholesteryl