Research Highlights

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  • Supergelation via Purely Aromatic π–π Driven Self-Assembly of PseudodiscoticOxadiazoleMesogens

Supergelation via Purely Aromatic π–π Driven Self-Assembly of PseudodiscoticOxadiazoleMesogens

A series of highly luminescent oxadiazole-based stilbene molecules (OXD4, OXD8, OXD10, and OXD12) exhibiting interesting enantiotropic liquid crystalline and gelation properties have been synthesized and characterized. The molecules possessing longer alkyl substituents, OXD10 and OXD12, possess a pseudodisc shape and are capable of behaving as supergelators in nonpolar solvents, forming self-standing gels with very high thermal and mechanical stability. Notably the self-assembly of these molecules, which do not possess any hydrogen-bonding motifs normally observed in most reported supergelators, is driven purely by π-stacking interactions of the constituent molecules. The d-spacing ratios estimated from XRD analysis of OXD derivatives possessing longer alkyl chains show that the molecules are arranged in a columnar fashion in the mesogens and the self-assembled nanofibers formed in the gelation process.