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Luminescent materials by controlling and managing self-assembly

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Self-assembly of chemical entities represents a very attractive way to create a large variety of ordered functional structures and complex matter. While much effort has been devoted towards the preparation of supramolecular nanostructures, based on different chemical building blocks, ultimate understanding of mechanistic insights and monitoring of the assembly events are often elusive, precluding deep and comprehensive control on the final structures.

In this contribution we report on luminescent metal complexes undergoing self-assembly in different types of aggregate. We demonstrate how even small changes in molecular design can completely inhibit or enhance the formation of organized supramolecular architectures, leading to a deep understanding of the key factors affecting the whole polymerization process.

For some of the compounds we have been able to control the assemblies and obtain uniform size of the aggregate that can even be converted in a thermodynamic unstable species by light.

The assembly process can also be driven inside small channels such as in porous silica-based materials resulting in the possibility to obtain stable luminescent clusters or unusual properties of the molecules entrapped.

1. R.N. Mahato, H. Lülf, M.H. Siekman, S.P. Kersten, P.A. Bobbert, M.P. de Jong, L. De Cola, W.G. van der Wiel Science, 2013, 341, 257-260 2. N. K. Allampally, M. Bredol, C. A. Strassert, L. De Cola Chem. Eur. J., 2014, 20, 16863-16868 3. M. Mauro, A. Aliprandi, C. Cebrián Ávila, D. Wang, C. Kübel, L. De Cola Chem. Commun., 2014, 50, 7269-7272 4. M. Mauro, A. Aliprandi, D. Septiadi, N. S. Kehr, L. De Cola Chem. Soc. Rev., 2014, 43, 4144-4166

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