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Langmuir. 2008 Jul 15;24(14):7421-31. doi: 10.1021/la800201d. Epub 2008 Jun 14.

Self-assembled thermoreversible gels of nonpolar liquids by racemic propargylic alcohols with fluorinated and nonfluorinated aromatic rings.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807, USA.


The synthesis and colloidal study of a new class of low molecular weight organogelators is reported. Racemic propargylic alcohols with perfluoroaryl and nonfluorinated aryl rings are capable of forming gels in alkane liquids and/or silicone oil. A full colloidal characterization of alkane gels prepared from (R/S)-1-pentafluorophenyl-3-phenylprop-2-yn-1-ol [(R/S)- 1] was conducted, including both structural [optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), attenuated total reflectance infrared spectroscopy (ATR-IR)] and thermal stability [differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)] studies. A model of the organization of gelator molecules within gel fibers has been proposed primarily based on the correlation of diffraction data for the powder XRD pattern of a gel and a simulated powder pattern from a sublimed crystal of the gelator. Furthermore, structural requirements for propargylic alcohol gelators were investigated by subjecting derivatives with modified structures to gelation tests. An enantiomerically enriched sample [(R)- 1, 83% ee] fails to entrap the solvent under conditions where the racemate successfully forms a gel. The remaining racemic derivatives (with p-alkoxy or p-alkyl substituents on the nonfluorinated arene) form gels or partial gels in silicone oil and in some alkane preparations.

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