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Complex Arrangement of Orthogonal Columns via a Supramolecular Orientational Memory Effect



Mihai Peterca, Mohammad Imam, Steven Hudson, Benjamin Partridge, D Sahoo, Paul A. Heiney, M L. Klein, Virgil Percec


Memory effects, including shape, chiral and liquid crystalline, enabled macroscopic materials with novel functions. However, the generation of complex supramolecular nanosystems via memory effects was not investigated. Here we report a cyclotriveratrylene-crown (CTV) compound that self-assembles into supramolecular columns and spheres forming respectively hexagonal and cubic mesophases. Upon transition from one phase to the other an epitaxial relationship holds, via an unprecedented supramolecular orientational memory effect. Specifically, the molecular orientation and columnar character of supramolecular packing is preserved in the cubic phase, providing an otherwise inaccessible structure comprising orthogonally oriented domains of supramolecular columns. The continuous columnar character of tetrahedrally distorted supramolecular spheres self-organized from the CTV derivative in the faces of the Pm3¯n lattice is the basis of this supramolecular orientational memory, which holds throughout cycling in temperature between the two phases. This concept is expected to be general for other combinations of periodic and quasiperiodic arrays generated from supramolecular spheres upon transition to supramolecular columns.
ACS Nano


epitaxy, supramolecular mesophase, hexagonal columnar, cubic, x-ray diffraction, birefringence


Peterca, M. , Imam, M. , Hudson, S. , Partridge, B. , Sahoo, D. , Heiney, P. , Klein, M. and Percec, V. (2016), Complex Arrangement of Orthogonal Columns via a Supramolecular Orientational Memory Effect, ACS Nano, [online],, (Accessed July 22, 2024)


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Created November 21, 2016, Updated October 12, 2021