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Title: Self-assembly of photoresponsive molecular amphiphiles in aqueous media
Authors: Chen, SY
Costil, R
Leung, FKC 
Feringa, BL
Issue Date: May-2021
Source: Angewandte chemie international edition, 17 May 2021, v. 60, no. 21, p. 11604-11627
Abstract: Amphiphilic molecules, comprising hydrophobic and hydrophilic moieties and the intrinsic propensity to self-assemble in aqueous environment, sustain a fascinating spectrum of structures and functions ranging from biological membranes to ordinary soap. Facing the challenge to design responsive, adaptive, and out-of-equilibrium systems in water, the incorporation of photoresponsive motifs in amphiphilic molecular structures offers ample opportunity to design supramolecular systems that enables functional responses in water in a non-invasive way using light. Here, we discuss the design of photoresponsive molecular amphiphiles, their self-assembled structures in aqueous media and at air-water interfaces, and various approaches to arrive at adaptive and dynamic functions in isotropic and anisotropic systems, including motion at the air-water interface, foam formation, reversible nanoscale assembly, and artificial muscle function. Controlling the delicate interplay of structural design, self-assembling conditions and external stimuli, these responsive amphiphiles open several avenues towards application such as soft adaptive materials, controlled delivery or soft actuators, bridging a gap between artificial and natural dynamic systems.
Keywords: Aqueous medium
Photoresponsive amphiphile
Responsive foam
Soft material
Supramolecular assembly
Publisher: Wiley-VCH
Journal: Angewandte chemie international edition 
ISSN: 1433-7851
EISSN: 1521-3773
DOI: 10.1002/anie.202007693
Rights: © 2020 The Authors. Angewandte Chemie International Edition published by Wiley-VCH GmbH
This is an open access article underthe terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-CommercialLicense (, which permits use, distributionand reproduction in anymedium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not usedfor commercial purposes.
The following publication Chen, Shaoyu, Costil, Romain, Leung, Franco King-Chi, Feringa, Ben L., Self-Assembly of Photoresponsive Molecular Amphiphiles in Aqueous Media, 2021/05/17, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 60(21), 11607-11627, ISSN 1433-7851 is available at
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