Self-assembly

Definition

Self-assembly is the process by which an organized structure spontaneously forms from individual components, as a result of specific, local interactions among the components. When the constitutive components are molecules, the process is termed molecular self-assembly.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Hierarchical non-intertwined ring-in-ring complexes are intriguing but challenging supramolecular targets. Here, the authors describe a box-in-box assembly based on radical-pairing interactions between two rigid diradical dicationic cyclophanes; the inner box can further accommodate guests to form Russian doll-like assemblies.

    • Kang Cai
    • , Mark C. Lipke
    • , Zhichang Liu
    • , Jordan Nelson
    • , Tao Cheng
    • , Yi Shi
    • , Chuyang Cheng
    • , Dengke Shen
    • , Ji-Min Han
    • , Suneal Vemuri
    • , Yuanning Feng
    • , Charlotte L. Stern
    • , William A. Goddard III
    • , Michael R. Wasielewski
    •  & J. Fraser Stoddart
  • Research | | open

    Magic number cluster with closed shells and increased stability often result from potential energy minimization between attractive atoms or particles. Here, Wang et al. show that such magic number clusters can also result from entropy maximization in colloidal systems with negligible interactions.

    • Junwei Wang
    • , Chrameh Fru Mbah
    • , Thomas Przybilla
    • , Benjamin Apeleo Zubiri
    • , Erdmann Spiecker
    • , Michael Engel
    •  & Nicolas Vogel
  • Research | | open

    Self-sorting is an attractive approach to produce complex supramolecular systems and materials with controlled structures. Here the authors show geometrical complementarity in the self-sorting behaviour of pentagonal and hexagonal pillararenes on heterogeneous surface through layer-by-layer deposition.

    • Tomoki Ogoshi
    • , Shu Takashima
    • , Natsumi Inada
    • , Hitoshi Asakawa
    • , Takeshi Fukuma
    • , Yoshiaki Shoji
    • , Takashi Kajitani
    • , Takanori Fukushima
    • , Tomofumi Tada
    • , Tomonori Dotera
    • , Takahiro Kakuta
    •  & Tada-aki Yamagishi
  • Research | | open

    Understanding how nanoparticle superstructures respond to external stimuli is of importance to their potential application. Here, the authors demonstrate the use of cryo-transmission electron microscopy for monitoring and manipulating movement within nanoparticle-loaded dendrimicelle superstructure thin films upon irradiation with an electron beam.

    • Jan Bart ten Hove
    • , Fijs W. B. van Leeuwen
    •  & Aldrik H. Velders
  • Research | | open

    Peptide self-assembly is a hierarchical process which includes forming β-sheets but the formation of high ordered structures remains largely unexplored. Here the authors report on a super-secondary structural template, based on well-defined hydrogen bonds by rational design and assembly of short peptides

    • Meng Wang
    • , Jiqian Wang
    • , Peng Zhou
    • , Jing Deng
    • , Yurong Zhao
    • , Yawei Sun
    • , Wei Yang
    • , Dong Wang
    • , Zongyi Li
    • , Xuzhi Hu
    • , Stephen M. King
    • , Sarah E. Rogers
    • , Henry Cox
    • , Thomas A. Waigh
    • , Jun Yang
    • , Jian Ren Lu
    •  & Hai Xu

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Knots have been rigorously studied since the 1860s, but only in the past 30 years have they been made in the laboratory in molecular form. Now, the most complex small-molecule examples so far — a composite knot and an isomeric link, each with nine crossings — have been prepared.

    • Edward E. Fenlon
    Nature Chemistry 10, 1078–1079
  • News and Views |

    A phase-separated state is observed with single-stranded DNA composed of ‘polymeric’ blocks and exploited to programme the assembly of micrometre-sized all-DNA colloidal particles.

    • Chad A. Mirkin
    •  & Sarah Hurst Petrosko
    Nature Nanotechnology 13, 624–625
  • News and Views |

    Building spinning microrotors that self-assemble and synchronize to form a gear sounds like an impossible feat. However, it has now been achieved using only a single type of building block — a colloid that self-propels.

    • Peer Fischer
    Nature Physics 14, 1072–1073
  • News and Views |

    Nanoscale metal–organic frameworks carrying an immunotherapy payload and administered into tumours alongside a low dose of radiotherapy enhance local and systemic antitumour immunity in mouse models of breast cancer and colorectal cancer.

    • Wilfred Ngwa