The innovation engine for new materials

Jonathon Cook

Jonathon Cook


University of California at Santa Barbara


Chemical Engineering

Site Abroad: 

Macromolecular and Organic Chemistry, Technical University Eindhoven


Rob van der Weegen
Peter Korevaar

Faculty Sponsor(s): 

Bert Meijer

Project Title: 

Self-assembly characteristics of a complex perylene-triazine system

Project Description: 

The formation of complex supramolecular structures is highly relevant to understanding biological functions like the system of microtubules and their associated (motor) proteins in eukaryotic cells. The goal of this project was to aid in creating a synthetic mimic of the system by using a supramolecular approach. A supramolecular system in which a perylene bisimide (PBI) derivative (aggregating as stacks of hydrogen bonded homodimers) and a complementary triazine (aggregating with PBI as a stack of hydrogen bonded heterodimers) are present was investigated. Recent work has revealed the presence of a third aggregated state. The mechanisms and determining factors of the formation of these different structures are important in understanding their self-assembly processes. UV-Vis spectroscopy was used to determine the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of the system because the various self-assembled states are characterized by different absorption spectra. The kinetic details were difficult to analyze because they only monitor the absorbance at one wavelength and the absorbance depends on all the different self-assembled states in solution. Therefore, there was insufficient information to determine what pathway the formation of the third state follows. However, the results support the notion that the formation of the third state relies on an excess equivalent of triazine as well as the system concentration. Models of the self-assembly process will be developed after different analytical techniques are employed in order to investigate the mechanism of third state growth.