Controlling Molecular Self-Organization: Formation of Nanometer-Scale Spheres and Tubules

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Science  13 Aug 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5430, pp. 1049-1052
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5430.1049

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Amphiphilic polyhedron-shaped p-sulfonatocalix[4]arene building blocks, which have been previously shown to assemble into bilayers in an antiparallel fashion, have been assembled in a parallel alignment into spherical and helical tubular structures by the addition of pyridine N-oxide and lanthanide ions. Crystallographic studies revealed how metal ion coordination and substrate recognition direct the formation of these supramolecular assemblies. The addition of greater amounts of pyridine N-oxide changed the curvature of the assembling surface and resulted in the formation of extended tubules.

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