Chiral molecules that self-assemble to form chiral supramolecular structures exhibit interesting structural features reminiscent of tertiary and quaternary structures of proteins and have applications in catalysis and nonlinear optics. Often, these structures are hierarchical, with their chiral structure difficult to interpret on the molecular scale. In this communication, we observe chiral assembling molecules that form well-defined helices with a pitch of 28 nm. We observe the behavior in both R- and S-enantiomers of the molecule, forming mirror image nanostructures. The molecular chirality is determined by the dimethyloctyl alkyl coil of the molecule and is located more than 4 nm from the hydrogen-bonding segment. The nanostructures observed are not hierarchical, which could be a result of the significant separation between the stereocenter and hydrogen-bonding dendron. The subtle structural modification at the periphery of the molecule biases the supramolecular assembly, which is driven primarily by strong hydrogen-bonding and π-π stacking interactions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry