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Synthesis and Properties of Amphiphilic Photoresponsive Gelators for Aromatic Solvents

Organogelators have wide-ranging applications as scaffolds for energy transfer, as drug delivery agents, cosmetic additives, and enzyme-immobilizationmatrices, and for oil recovery and tissue engineering. Sugar-based gelators have a significant role in many of the above applications. For applications such as drug delivery or preparation of smartmaterials, it is necessary to have reversible control on the gelation and themorphological properties. Reversible light-induced control of molecular aggregation and gelation can be achieved by incorporating photochromic azobenzenemoieties into gel-formingmolecules. Herein, we report the design, synthesis, and self-assembly of a photoswitchable sugar hybrid that undergoes phaseselective removal of aromatic solvent from water (Organic Letters 2012 Vol.14, No.3 748-751).