Molecular self-assembly articles from across Nature Portfolio

Molecular self-assembly is the spontaneous association of molecules, through non covalent bonds and under equilibrium conditions, into stable, structurally well-defined aggregates.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research
    | Open Access

    Organic molecules and materials are generally insensitive or weakly sensitive to magnetic fields due to their small diamagnetic force. Here, the authors show a strategy to amplify the magnetic responsiveness of self-assembled peptide nanostructures by synergistically combining the concepts of perfect α-helix and rod-coil supramolecular building blocks

    • You-jin Jung
    • , Hyoseok Kim
    •  & Yong-beom Lim
  • Research
    | Open Access

    L-3,4-Dihydroxyphenylalanine plays an important role in living system. Here, the authors investigated the effect of the molecular chirality of L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine on the improved structural and thermal stability of self-assembled films by tyrosinase-induced oxidative polymerization.

    • Yuhe Shen
    • , Rongxin Su
    •  & Wei Qi
  • Research |

    Synthesizing superstructures with precisely controlled nanoscale building blocks is challenging. Here the assembly of superstructures is reported from atomically precise Ce24O28(OH)8 and other rare-earth metal-oxide nanoclusters and their multicomponent combinations. A high-temperature ligand-switching mechanism controls the self-assembly.

    • Grayson Johnson
    • , Moon Young Yang
    •  & Sen Zhang
  • Reviews
    | Open Access

    Due to their unique physical characteristics, surfactants containing fluorocarbon chains form hierarchical patterns of two-dimensional mesoscopic/microscopic self-assemblies on the surface of water. This review describes the overarching physical mechanism, the competitive interplay of line tension and dipole interaction and discusses several key experimental and analytical techniques characterizing the shape, size, correlation, and viscoelasticity of mesoscopic/microscopic self-assemblies on water, which is often non-trivial. Some of the recent biomedical applications, including biomimetic surface coating, contrast agents in multimodal imaging, and controlled delivery, are introduced to highlight how the unique physicochemical properties of fluorinated self-assemblies can be applied in materials science.

    • Motomu Tanaka
    • , Marie Pierre Krafft
    •  & Andreea Pasc
  • Research
    | Open Access

    The synthesis of two-dimensional nanostructures with controlled dimensions from polymeric precursors remains challenging. Now, two-dimensional nanoparticles with chemically different spatially defined cores have been fabricated through seeded growth and are shown to undergo a programmable degradation process.

    • Zaizai Tong
    • , Yujie Xie
    •  & Andrew P. Dove
    Nature Chemistry 15, 824-831

News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    Systems that feature long-range order but no translational periodicity are intriguing. Now, a T-shaped molecule consisting of three non-miscible components has been devised that self-assembles into a columnar liquid quasicrystal.

    • Marianne Impéror-Clerc
    Nature Chemistry 15, 591-592
  • News & Views |

    Discrete chiral nanotubes have been synthesized with high efficiency by connecting rim-desymmetrized macrocycles through dynamic covalent linkages. These 2-nm long and 4.7-Å wide helical covalent organic pillars, resolved by chromatography and characterized by X-ray crystallography, show strong binding affinities for linear guest molecules with complementary lengths and electronic densities.

    Nature Synthesis 2, 393-394
  • News & Views |

    A doughnut-shaped microstructure with single-handed helical feature has been created via the combination of bottom-up self-assembly and top-down solution depositing processes.

    • Shiki Yagai
    Nature Nanotechnology 17, 1241-1242