Pyrrole power

Japanese researcher Hiromitsu Maeda of Risumeikan University and his colleagues have turned to the well-known molecular motif of the pyrrole to construction a new class of structured materials. By combining planar pyrrole-containing negatively charged complexes with similarly planar, positively charged organic ions they can generate fibers and soft materials, such as supramolecular gels and liquid crystals based on organic salts. The team can design specific nanostructures by tweaking the side-groups on the organic ionic components of these systems.