Publication Details (including relevant citation information):
Chem. Asian J. 2011, 6, 1038
Easy access to a class of chiral gelators has been achieved by exploiting primary ammonium monocarboxylate (PAM), a supramolecular synthon. A combinatorial library comprising of 16 salts, derived from 5 l-amino acid methyl esters and 4 cinnamic acid derivatives, has been prepared and scanned for gelation. Remarkably, 14 out of 16 salts prepared (87.5 % of the salts) show moderate to good gelation abilities with various solvents, including commercial fuels, such as petrol. Anti-solvent induced instant gelation at room temperature has been achieved in all the gelator salts, indicating that the gelation process is indeed an aborted crystallization phenomenon. Rheology, optical and scanning electron microscopy, small angle neutron scattering, and X-ray powder diffraction have been used to characterize the gels. A structure-property correlation has been attempted, based on these data, in addition to the single-crystal structures of 5 gelator salts. Analysis of the FT-IR and 1H NMR spectroscopy data reveals that some of these salts can be used as supramolecular containers for the slow release of certain pest sex pheromones. The present study clearly demonstrates the merit of crystal engineering and the supramolecular synthon approach in designing new materials with multiple properties.