Diacetylenic Lipid Tubules: Experimental Evidence for a Chiral Molecular Architecture

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Science  13 May 1994:
Vol. 264, Issue 5161, pp. 945-947
DOI: 10.1126/science.264.5161.945


Molecular self-assembly is of key importance for the rational design of advanced materials. To investigate the causal relation between molecular structure and the consequent self-assembled microstructure, self-assembled tubules of diacetylenic lipids were studied. Circular-dichroism studies give experimental evidence that the formation of tubules is driven by chiral molecular packing, in agreement with recent theories of tubules. On the basis of these results, a molecular mechanism for the formation of tubules is proposed.