Advanced Materials, 2018, vol 30, 49, pp. 1805175
Construction of integrated self-assembly with ordered structures from two or more organic building blocks is currently a challenge, since it suffers from intrinsic systematic complexity and diverse competitive pathways. Here, it is reported that aromatic amino acid building units can be incorporated into two- or three-component coassembly driven primarily by hydrogen bonding interactions without the assistance of metal–ligand and macrocycle-based host–guest interactions. The key strategy is to employ a C3-symmetric molecule with alternative hydrogen bonding donor/acceptor sites that are able to bind either carboxylic acid or pyridine appended building units. Aromatic amino acids, C3-symmetric compound, and bipyridine unit constitute a unique ternary mutual binding system, where three coassembly pathways including two pairwise formations and one ternary combination are unveiled, giving rise to two- and three-component self-assemblies with ordered structures, respectively. The pathway complexity lies in the structural parameter of aromatic amino acids, which can be programmable by controlling substituents at the α-position of amino acids.