A Low-Molecular-Weight Gelator Composed of Pyrene and Fluorene Moieties for Effective Charge Transfer in Supramolecular Ambidextrous Gel

Samala Murali Mohan Reddy, Pramod Dorishetty, George Augustine, Abhijit P. Deshpande, Niraikulam Ayyadurai, Ganesh Shanmugam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Charge-transfer (CT) gel materials obtained from low-molecular-weight (LMW) compounds through a supramolecular self-assembly approach have received fascinating attention by many researchers because of their interesting material property and potential applications. However, most of the CT gel materials constructed were of organogels while the construction of CT gels in the form of a hydrogel is a challenge because of the solubility issue in water, which considerably limits the use of CT hydrogels. Herein, for the first time, we report a new LMW gelator [Nα-(fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl)-Nϵ-(δ-butyric-1-pyrenyl)-l-lysine, (FmKPy)], composed of two functional moieties such as fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl and pyrene, which not only parade both hydro and organo (ambidextrous) supramolecular gel formation but also exhibit CT ambidextrous gels when mixed with an electron acceptor such as 2,4,7-trinitro-9-fluorenone (TNF). This finding is significant as the established CT organogelator in the literature did not form an organogel in the absence of an electron acceptor or lose their gelation property upon the addition of the acceptor. CT between pyrene and TNF was confirmed by the color change as well as the appearance of the CT band in the visible region of the absorption spectrum. CT between FmKPy and TNF was supported by the solvent dilution method using tetrahydrofuran as the gel breaker and pyrene fluorescence quenching in the case compound containing pyrene and TNF. The morphology of FmKPy ambidextrous gels indicates the fibrous nature while the self-assembled structure is primarily stabilized by π-π stacking among fluorenyl and pyrenyl moieties and hydrogen bonding between amide groups. The FmKPy-TNF CT ambidextrous gel retains the fibrous nature; however, the size of the fibers changed. In FmKPy-TNF CT gels, TNF is intercalated between pyrene moieties in the self-assembled structure as confirmed by fluorescence quenching and powder X-ray diffraction. The FmKPy ambidextrous gel exhibits significant properties such as low minimum gelation concentration (MGC), thixotropic nature, pH stimuli response, and high thermal stability. Upon the addition of TNF, the FmKPy-TNF CT ambidextrous gel maintains all these properties except MGC which increased for FmKPy-TNF. Because pyrene-based LMW organogels have been developed widely for many applications while their hydrogels were limited, the current finding of the pyrene-based ambidextrous fluorescent gel with the CT property provides a wide opportunity to use FmKPy as a soft material maker and also for potential applications in fields like surface coating, three-dimensional printing, and so forth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13504-13514
Number of pages11
Issue number47
StatePublished - 28 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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