Cooperative Self-Assembly of Pyridine-2,6-Diimine-Linked Macrocycles into Mechanically Robust Nanotubes

06 May 2019, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Nanotubes assembled from macrocyclic precursors offer a unique combination of low dimensionality, structural rigidity, and distinct interior and exterior microenvironments. Usually the weak stacking energies of macrocycles limit the length or strength of the resultant nanotubes. Imine-linked macrocycles were recently found to assemble into high-aspect ratio (>103), lyotropic nanotubes in the presence of excess acid. Yet these harsh conditions are incompatible with many functional groups and processing methods, and lower acid loadings instead catalyze macrocycle degradation. Here we report pyridine-2,6-diimine-linked macrocycles that assemble into high-aspect ratio nanotubes in the presence of less than 1 equiv of CF3CO2H per macrocycle. Analysis by gel permeation chromatography and fluorescence spectroscopy revealed a cooperative self-assembly mechanism. Nanofibers obtained by touch-spinning the pyridinium-based nanotubes exhibit Young’s moduli of 1.48 GPa, which exceeds that of many synthetic polymers and biological filaments. These findings will enable the design of structurally diverse nanotubes from synthetically accessible macrocycles.


stimuli-responsive materials
Supramolecular polymerization

Supplementary materials

2019 05 ChemRxiv Strauss SI


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.