Functional Materials by Supramolecular Self-Assembly

Our research is directed towards structure and morphology controlled self-assembling systems. Organic synthesis allows tailoring of the molecular building blocks and programming their capability for self-assembly by fine-tuning the intermolecular interactions. Those interactions are based on rather weak forces like van-der-Waals, π-π, and (weak) C-H…N interactions. Self-assembly takes place in molecular mono- and multilayers, bulk phases, and in solution. The generated assemblies represent functional units on the nanometer scale. Their functionality arises mainly from the molecular functional groups. Here, we are focussing on nitrogen and sulfur containing heteroaromatic compounds.

Besides molecular self-assembly we are interested in colloidal systems like (nano)emulsions stabilized by various solid entities (Pickering-type stabilization) and structure formation therein.

The following cartoon displays the principle of two approaches for generating nanoscale materials by self-assembly (bottom-up) or e. g. lithographic methods (top-down), respectively.

Representative publications

  • U. Ziener, J.-M. Lehn, A. Mourran, M. Möller, „Supramolecular Assemblies of a Bis(terpyridine) Ligand and of its [2×2] Grid-type ZnII and CoII Complexes on Highly Ordered Pyrolytic Graphite”, Chem. Eur. J. 2002, 8(4), 951-957.
  • C. Meier, U. Ziener, K. Landfester, P. Weihrich “Weak Hydrogen Bonds as a Structural Motif for Two-Dimensional Assemblies of Oligopyridines on Highly Oriented Pyrolytic Graphite: An STM Investigation”, J. Phys. Chem. B 2005, 109(44), 21015-21027.    
  • C. Meier, K. Landfester, D. Künzel, T. Markert, A. Groß, U. Ziener, “Hierarchically Self-Assembled Host-Guest Network at the Solid/Liquid-Interface for Single Molecule Manipulation”, Angew. Chem. 2008, 120(20), 3881-3885.    
  • A. Kreyes, S. Ellinger, K. Landfester, M. Defaux, D. A. Ivanov, A. Elschner, T. Meyer-Friedrichsen, U. Ziener, “Fine Tuning of Solid-State Properties of Septithiophenes by Tailoring the Substituents”, Chem. Mater. 2010, 22(6), 2079-2092.
  • A. Kreyes, A. Mourran, Z. Hong, J. Wang, M. Möller, F. Gholamrezaie, W. S. C. Roelofs, D. M. de Leeuw, U. Ziener, „Predictability of Thermal and Electrical Properties of Endcapped Oligothiophenes by a Simple Bulkiness Parameter“, Chem. Mater. 2013, 25(10), 2128-2136. 
  • A. Schrade, K. Landfester, U. Ziener, “Pickering-Type Stabilized Nanoparticles by Heterophase Polymerization”, Chem. Soc. Rev. 2013, 42(16), 6823-6839.
  •  Y. Dai, M. Metzler, T. Jacob, D. M. Kolb, U. Ziener, “Fast vs. Slow: Electrolyte and Potential Dependent Adlayer Switching of an Oligopyridine on Au(111)”, Electrochim. Acta 2014, 137, 416-422.
  • S. Sihler, A. Schrade, Z. Cao, U. Ziener, „Inverse Pickering emulsions with droplet sizes below 500 nm“, Langmuir 2015, 31, 10392-10401.


A full list of the publications can be found here.