Self-sorting, in which multiple components selectively assemble themselves by recognising self from others, is an attractive approach to produce supramolecular assemblies with controlled structures. Lock-and-key type complementary physical interactions are required for self-sorting because selective affinity is necessary to distinguish self from others. Here we show self-sorting behaviour based on a principle of geometrical complementarity by shape during our investigation of assembly of pentagonal pillararenes and hexagonal pillararenes on a surface. In the homoassembly systems, anionic pillararenes and pillararenes are adsorbed onto positively charged layers of cationic pillararenes and pillararenes, respectively, through cationic-anionic electrostatic interactions. In contrast, ionic pillararenes are adsorbed onto layers constructed from oppositely charged pillararenes, but ionic pillararenes are not. Equally, for the reverse combination, ionic pillararenes are adsorbed onto layers constructed from oppositely charged pillararenes, but ionic pillararenes are not. The geometrical complementarity by shape realises effective self-sorting even in non-directional multivalent ionic interactions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Chemistry
- Environmental Chemistry