2D and 3D Self-Assembly of Fluorine-Free Pillar-[5]-Arenes and Perfluorinated Diacids at All-Aqueous Interfaces

Lawrence W. Honaker, Tu Nan Gao, Kelsey R. de Graaf, Tessa V.M. Bogaardt, Pim Vink, Tobias Stürzer, Gabriele Kociok-Köhn, Han Zuilhof, Fedor M. Miloserdov, Siddharth Deshpande

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


The interaction of perfluorinated molecules, also known as “forever chemicals” due to their pervasiveness, with their environment remains an important yet poorly understood topic. In this work, the self-assembly of perfluorinated molecules with multivalent hosts, pillar-[5]-arenes, is investigated. It is found that perfluoroalkyl diacids and pillar-[5]-arenes rapidly and strongly complex with each other at aqueous interfaces, forming solid interfacially templated films. Their complexation is shown to be driven primarily by fluorophilic aggregation and assisted by electrostatic interactions, as supported by the crystal structure of the complexes, and leads to the formation of quasi-2D phase-separated films. This self-assembly process can be further manipulated using aqueous two-phase system microdroplets, enabling the controlled formation of 3D micro-scaffolds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2401807
Number of pages10
JournalAdvanced Science
Early online date24 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 May 2024

Data Availability Statement

The data that support the findings of this study are available in the sup-plementary material of this article


  • aqueous two-phase systems
  • electrospray
  • fluorophilic aggregation
  • microfluidics
  • PFAS
  • pillar-[5]-arenes
  • supramolecular assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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