Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Supramolecular fibres

Self-sorting shows its true colours


Self-sorting events in supramolecular assembly lead to complex systems that are attractive for the design of functional materials, but have remained difficult to understand and control. Now, the growth of self-sorted supramolecular nanofibres has been elucidated by direct imaging through real-time in situ confocal microscopy.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Direct visualization of a self-sorting assembly.


  1. 1

    Stupp, S. I. & Palmer, L. C. Chem. Mater. 26, 507–518 (2014).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Onogi, S. et al., Nature Chem. 8, 743–752 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Buerkle, L. E. & Rowan, S. J. Chem. Soc. Rev. 41, 6089–6102 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Safont-Sempere, M. M., Fernández, G. & Würthner, F. Chem. Rev. 111, 5784–5814 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Philp D. & Stoddart, J. F. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 35, 1154–1196 (1996).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Escuder, B. & Miravet, J. F. Functional Molecular Gels (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013).

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Raeburn, J. & Adams, D. J. Chem. Commun. 51, 5170–5180 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Sugiyasu, K., Kawano, S.-i., Fujita, N. & Shinkai, S. Chem. Mater. 20, 2863–2865 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dave J. Adams.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Draper, E., Adams, D. Self-sorting shows its true colours. Nature Chem 8, 737–738 (2016).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing