The layered structures of graphite and related nanographene molecules play key roles in their physical and electronic functions. However, the stacking modes of negatively curved nanographenes remain unclear, owing to the lack of suitable nanographene molecules. Herein, we report the synthesis and one-dimensional supramolecular self-assembly of negatively curved nanographenes without any assembly-assisting substituents. This curved nanographene self-assembles in various organic solvents and acts as an efficient gelator. The formation of nanofibers was confirmed by microscopic measurements, and an unprecedented double-helix assembly by continuous π-π stacking was uncovered by three-dimensional electron crystallography. This work not only reports the discovery of an all-sp2-carbon supramolecular π-organogelator with negative curvature but also demonstrates the power of three-dimensional electron crystallography for the structural determination of submicrometer-sized molecular alignment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry