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Ferro-Self-Assembly: Magnetic and Electrochemical Adaptation of a Multiresponsive Zwitterionic Metalloamphiphile Showing a Shape-Hysteresis Effect

submitted on 26.05.2020, 16:12 and posted on 27.05.2020, 11:10 by Stefan Bitter, Moritz Schlötter, Markus Schilling, Rainer Winter, Sebastian Polarz
We report on a novel multi-stimuli-responsive amphiphile, 1-(Z)-heptenyl-1’-dimethylammonium-methyl-(3-sulfopropyl)ferrocene (6), whose self-assembly properties can be altered by three different stimuli, namely: (i) the addition of external salts which serve to unfold the sultone headgroup, thus triggering self-assembly of 6 into vesicles; (ii) oxidation to 6+, which changes the lipophilic ferrocene to a hydrophilic ferrocenium entity, thereby broadening the size-distribution of the aggregates; and (iii) exposition of 6+ to an external magnetic field of 0.8 T. Under thease conditions and at sufficient concentration, 6+ forms large, tubular aggregates with lengths of up to 15 µm, which persist for over 5 min after the field is switched off again. 6+ is thus the first amphiphile to exhibit a shape-hysteresis effect. The self-assembly/disassembly processes and their dynamics were studied live and in situ by optical birefringence measurements coupled to light scattering.


The current research was funded by an ERC consolidator grant (I SURF; project 614606).


Email Address of Submitting Author


Universität Konstanz



ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

There are no conflict of interest to declare