CHAPTER 5: Molecular Gels as Containers for Molecular Recognition, Reactivity and Catalysis
Published:05 Nov 2013
Molecular gels formed by self-assembly of low molecular weight compounds can be used as dynamic and adaptable vessels for different physical and chemical processes. In this chapter it is shown that when guest molecules are added to the sample, the gel phase is not merely a support but can also play a relevant role. In this sense, gelator molecules may interact either by noncovalent or covalent bonding with substrates, they may participate in catalytic processes or template reactions in solution. Additionally, the emergence of new properties after self-assembly (multivalency, cooperativity, site isolation, etc.) combined with the responsiveness to external stimuli convert them into powerful smart soft materials.