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Self-Assembled Soft Nanomaterials from Renewable Resources

G. John
City College of the City University of New York, US

renewable resources, self-assembly, soft nanomaterials, green chemistr, supramolecular chemistry

The self-assembly of low molecular weight building blocks into nanoscale molecular objects has recently attracted considerable interest in terms of the bottom-up fabrication of nanomaterials. The building blocks currently used in supramolecular chemistry are synthesized mainly from petroleum-based starting materials. However, bio-based organic synthesis presents distinct advantages for the generation of new building blocks since they are obtainable from renewable resources. This study is an effort to combine the philosophies of green chemistry and supramolecular chemistry, making use of renewable plant-derived resources as the starting materials (an alternate feedstock) for the noncovalent synthesis of meso- and nanoscale structures. The use of cardanol (obtained from Anacardium occidentale L, a renewable resource and by-product of cashew industry) and its derivatives for various applications is well known. However its use in the synthesis of aryl glycolipids and their self-assembled nanostructures are new to the literature. The glycolipids are self-assembled to form a variety of well-defined nanostructures including liquid crystalline phases (thermotropic & lyotropic), vesicles, nanofibers, low-molecular weight gelators and nanotubes under suitable conditions, which could be of use in material applications. We have developed multiple systems based on biobased organic synthesis by chemical/biocatalytic methods for functional applications. These results will lead to efficient molecular design of supramolecular nanostructures and nanomaterials based on green chemicals, otherwise under-utilised. Also address the advances that have led to the understanding of chiral behaviour and the subsequent ability to control the structure of glycolipid nanostructures-derived from renewable resources-and the resulting impact of this on future material applications.

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