Micelles from gemini

A Publisher Correction to this article was published on 10 April 2019

This article has been updated

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (2019)

A gemini amphiphile is a molecule composed of two identical amphiphilic units separated by an organic spacer. At high concentration, gemini amphiphiles tend to self-assemble into nanostructured geometries which have been used for applications such as catalysis and separation. Now, Nishioka et al. have shown that aromatic gemini amphiphiles can form monodisperse micelles.

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The researchers first synthesize a V-shaped amphiphile composed of polyaromatic molecules and hydrophilic side groups. They use a linear acetylene spacer to complete the gemini. Because of their bent shape, these gemini amphiphiles do not aggregate into columnar structures like previous ones; rather, driven by ππ stacking among the aromatic components and hydrophobic interactions, they form micelles with controlled size and atomic composition. The micelles are composed of four gemini molecules and are ellipsoidal in shape, with dimensions between 2.7 nm and 1.9 nm. They form hydrophobic cavities about 2 nm in diameter. As a proof-of-principle application, Nishioka et al. show that they can efficiently incorporate organic compounds, including two C60 molecules.

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  • 10 April 2019

    In the version of this Research Highlight originally published, the text ‘Now, Nishioka et al. have shown that carefully designed gemini amphiphiles can also form micelles’ should have read ‘Now, Nishioka et al. have shown that aromatic gemini amphiphiles can form monodisperse micelles’. This has now been corrected.

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Correspondence to Alberto Moscatelli.

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Moscatelli, A. Micelles from gemini. Nat. Nanotechnol. 14, 306 (2019).

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