Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Hollow spherical supramolecular dendrimers



Virgil Percec, Mihai Peterca, Andres E. Dulcey, Mohammad Imam, Steven Hudson, Sami Nummelin, Peter Adelman, Paul A. Heiney


The synthesis of a library containing 12 conical dendrons that self-assemble into hollow spherical supramolecular dendrimers is reported. The design principles for this library were accessed by development of a method that allows the identification of hollow spheres, followed by structural and retrostructural analysis of their Pm3n cubic lattice. The first hollow spherical supramolecular dendrimer was made by replacing the tapered dendron, from the previously reported tapered dendritic dipeptide that self-assembled into helical pores, with its constitutional isomeric conical dendron. This strategy generated a conical dendritic dipeptide that self-assembled into a hollow spherical supramolecular dendrimer that self-organizes in a Pm3jn cubic lattice. Other examples of hollow spheres were assembled from conical dendrons without a dipeptide at their apex. These are conical dendrons originated from tapered dendrons containing additional benzyl ether groups at their apex. The inner part of the hollow sphere assembled from the dipeptide resembles the path of a spherical helix or loxodrome and, therefore, is chiral. The spheres assembled from other conical dendrons are nonhelical, even when they contain stereocenters on the alkyl groups from their periphery. Functionalization of the apex of the conical dendrons with diethylene glycol allowed the encapsulation of LiOTf and RbOTf in the center of the hollow sphere. These experiments showed that hollow spheres function as supramolecular dendritic capsules and therefore are expected to display functions complementary to those of other related molecular and supramolecular structures.
Journal of the American Chemical Society


supramolecular chemistry, nanoparticles, self assembly, diffraction, microscopy, cubic liquid crystals


Percec, V. , Peterca, M. , Dulcey, A. , Imam, M. , Hudson, S. , Nummelin, S. , Adelman, P. and Heiney, P. (2008), Hollow spherical supramolecular dendrimers, Journal of the American Chemical Society, [online], (Accessed May 26, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created September 30, 2008, Updated October 12, 2021