Dynamic Control of a Multistate Chiral Supramolecular Polymer in Water

Fan Xu, Stefano Crespi, Gianni Pacella, Youxin Fu, Marc C A Stuart, Qi Zhang, Giuseppe Portale, Ben L Feringa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
55 Downloads (Pure)


Natural systems transfer chiral information across multiple length scales through dynamic supramolecular interaction to accomplish various functions. Inspired by nature, many exquisite artificial supramolecular systems have been developed, in which controlling the supramolecular chirality holds the key to completing specific tasks. However, to achieve precise and non-invasive control and modulation of chirality in these systems remains challenging. As a non-invasive stimulus, light can be used to remotely control the chirality with high spatiotemporal precision. In contrast to common molecular switches, a synthetic molecular motor can act as a multistate chiroptical switch with unidirectional rotation, offering major potential to regulate more complex functions. Here, we present a light-driven molecular motor-based supramolecular polymer, in which the intrinsic chirality is transferred to the nanofibers, and the rotation of molecular motors governs the chirality and morphology of the supramolecular polymer. The resulting supramolecular polymer also exhibits light-controlled multistate aggregation-induced emission. These findings present a photochemically tunable multistate dynamic supramolecular system in water and pave the way for developing molecular motor-driven chiroptical materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6019-6027
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number13
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - 6-Apr-2022

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