Anisotropic Self-Assembly of Organic–Inorganic Hybrid Microtoroids

Safa'a Al-Rehili, Karim Fhayli, Mohamed Amen Hammami, Basem Moosa, Sachin Patil, Daliang Zhang, Ohoud Alharbi, Mohamed N. Hedhili, Helmuth Möhwald, Niveen M. Khashab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Toroidal structures based on self-assembly of predesigned building blocks are well-established in the literature, but spontaneous self-organization to prepare such structures has not been reported to date. Here, organic–inorganic hybrid microtoroids synthesized by simultaneous coordination-driven assembly of amphiphilic molecules and hydrophilic polymers are reported. Mixing amphiphilic molecules with iron(III) chloride and hydrophilic polymers in water leads, within minutes, to the formation of starlike nanostructures. A spontaneous self-organization of these nanostructures is then triggered to form stable hybrid microtoroids. Interestingly, the toroids exhibit anisotropic hierarchical growth, giving rise to a layered toroidal framework. These microstructures are mechanically robust and can act as templates to host metallic nanoparticles such as gold and silver. Understanding the nature of spontaneous assembly driven by coordination multiple non-covalent interactions can help explain the well-ordered complexity of many biological organisms in addition to expanding the available tools to mimic such structures at a molecular level.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10232-10238
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number30
StatePublished - Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). We thank Dr. Dalaver Anjum and Dr. Rachid Sougrat of the KAUST Imaging and Characterization Core Lab for helpful discussions.


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