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Functional supramolecules

Vesicles head in white direction

Synthetic vesicles with membranes made from amphiphiles that are fluorescence acceptors encapsulate donor molecules in their cores, and emit different proportions of red, blue and green light depending on pH. The balance of these coloured emissions at pH 9 results in white fluorescence.

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Figure 1: Examples of the wide variety of amphiphiles used in the construction of synthetic bilayer materials.
Figure 2: Fluorescent vesicles described by Würthner and co-workers10.


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Sakai, N., Matile, S. Vesicles head in white direction. Nature Chem 1, 599–600 (2009).

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