Complex assembly from planar and twisted π-conjugated molecules towards alloy helices and core-shell structures

Yilong LEI, Yanqiu Sun, Yi Zhang, Hongyang Zhang, Haihua Zhang, Zhengong Meng, Wai Yeung WONG, Jiannian Yao, Hongbing Fu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Integrating together two dissimilar π-conjugated molecules into controlled complex topological configurations remains a largely unsolved problem owing to the diversity of organic species and their respective different assembly features. Here, we find that two structurally similar organic semiconductors, 9,10-bis(phenylethynyl)anthracene (BA) and 5,12-bis(phenylethynyl)naphthacene (BN), co-assemble into two-component helices by control of the growth kinetics as well as the molar ratio of BA/BN. The helical superstructures made of planar and twisted bis(phenylethynyl) derivatives can be regarded as (BA)x(BN)1−x alloys, which are formed due to compatible structural relationship between BA and BN. Moreover, epitaxial growth of (BA)x(BN)1−x alloy layer on the surface of BA tube to form BA@(BA)x(BN)1−x core-shell structure is also achieved via a solute exchange process. The precise control over composition and morphology towards organic alloy helices and core-shell microstructures opens a door for understanding the complex co-assembly features of two or more different material partners with similar structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4358
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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