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Open AccessTechnical Note

Designing Supramolecular Gelators: Challenges, Frustrations, and Hopes

School of Chemical Sciences, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, 2A & 2B, Raja S. C. Mullick Road, Jadavpur, Kolkata 700032, West Bengal, India
Received: 2 February 2019 / Revised: 20 February 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 8 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Gel Materials in the 21st Century)
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Abstract

This article is a personal account of the author, who serendipitously entered the field of supramolecular gels nearly two decades ago. A supramolecular synthon approach in the context of crystal engineering was utilized to develop a working hypothesis to design supramolecular gelators derived from simple organic salts. The activity not only provided a way to occasionally predict gelation, but also afforded clear understanding of the structural landscape of such supramolecular materials. Without waiting for an ab initio approach for designing a gel, a large number of supramolecular gelators derived from organic salts were designed following the working hypothesis thus developed. Organic salts possess a number of advantages in terms of their ease of synthesis, purification, high yield and stability and, therefore, are suitable for developing materials for various applications. Organic salt-based gel materials for containing oil spills, synthesizing inorganic nanostructures and metal nanoparticles, sensing hazardous gas and dissolved glucose, adsorbing dyes, and facilitating drug delivery in self-delivery fashion have been developed. The journey through the soft world of gelators which was started merely by serendipity turned out to be rewarding, despite the challenges and frustrations in the field. View Full-Text
Keywords: molecular gels; supramolecular synthons; drug self-delivery; crystal engineering; organic salts molecular gels; supramolecular synthons; drug self-delivery; crystal engineering; organic salts
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Dastidar, P. Designing Supramolecular Gelators: Challenges, Frustrations, and Hopes. Gels 2019, 5, 15.

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