Hydrogen-bond-assisted control of H versus J aggregation mode of porphyrins stacks in an organogel system

Michihiro Shirakawa, Shin ichiro Kawano, Norifumi Fujita, Kazuki Sada, Seiji Shinkai

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223 Citations (Scopus)


To obtain insights into a correlation relationship between the structure and the aggregation mode in an organogel system, we synthesized gelators 2a-4a bearing a porphyrin moiety as a one-dimensional aggregation unit and amide groups as peripheral hydrogen-bonding sites. Gelators 3a and 3b bearing the amide groups at the 4-position of the meso-phenyl groups are classified as versatile gelators, gelating 10 and 14 solvents, respectively, among 23 solvents tested herein. In contrast, gelators 2a and 4a bearing the amide groups at the 3,5-positions and 3-position, respectively, are classified as poor gelators. Examination by spectroscopic methods (UV-vis, ATR-FTIR, XRD, etc.) revealed that in the organogel phase porphyrins in 3a adopt the H aggregation mode whereas those in 2a and 4a adopt the J aggregation mode. X-ray analysis of the single crystals established that in fact 3b features a columnar stack of porphyrin moieties that can be classified as the H-aggregate, whereas 2a results in a two-dimensional a-b plane, in which porphyrin moieties are arranged in the J-aggregate. Very interestingly, the difference in the H versus J aggregation mode is well-reflected by the difference in the macroscopic aggregate morphology observed by SEM: 3a + cyclohexane gel results in a one-dimensionally aggregated fibrillar structure, whereas 2a + cyclohexane gel results in a two-dimensional sheetlike structure. These findings indicate that the H versus J aggregation mode of porphyrin stacks can be controlled by the peripheral hydrogen-bonding interactions and the microscopic hydrogen-bonding network structure is well-reflected by the macroscopic SEM-observed structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5037-5044
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Organic Chemistry
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jun 27 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Organic Chemistry


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