Transferring Micellar Changes to Bulk Properties via Tunable Self-Assembly and Hierarchical Ordering

Lisa Thomson, Daniel McDowall, Libby Marshall, Olivia Marshall, Henry Ng, W. Joseph A. Homer, Dipankar Ghosh, Wanli Liu, Adam M. Squires, Eirini Theodosiou, Paul D. Topham, Louise C. Serpell, Robert J. Poole, Annela Seddon, Dave J. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


Hierarchical self-assembly is an effective means of preparing useful materials. However, control over assembly across length scales is a difficult challenge, often confounded by the perceived need to redesign the molecular building blocks when new material properties are needed. Here, we show that we can treat a simple dipeptide building block as a polyelectrolyte and use polymer physics approaches to explain the self-assembly over a wide concentration range. This allows us to determine how entangled the system is and therefore how it might be best processed, enabling us to prepare interesting analogues to threads and webs, as well as films that lose order on heating and "noodles"which change dimensions on heating, showing that we can transfer micellar-level changes to bulk properties all from a single building block.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20497-20509
Number of pages13
JournalACS Nano
Issue number12
Early online date28 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the University of Glasgow (LT) and the Leverhulme Trust (DM, RPG-2018-013 and LM, RPG-2019-165) for funding. L.S. thanks the BBSRC for funding (BB/S003657/1). This work benefitted from the SasView software, originally developed by the DANSE project under NSF award DMR-0520547. The Ganesha X-ray scattering apparatus was purchased under EPSRC Grant “Atoms to Applications” (EP/K035746/1).


  • dipeptide
  • liquid crystal
  • micelle
  • polyelectrolyte
  • SAXS
  • WAXS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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