Systems Chemistry: Logic gates based on the stimuli-responsive gel-sol transition of a crown-ether functionalized bis-urea-gelator
Z. Qi, P. Malo de Molina, W. Jiang, Q. Wang, K. Nowosinski, A. Schulz, M. Gradzielski, C. A. Schalley – 2012
A quite simple, achiral benzo-21-crown-7-substituted bis(urea) low-molecular weight gelator hierarchically assembles into helical fibrils, which further develop into bundles and finally form a stable gel in acetonitrile. The gel–sol transition can be controlled by three different molecular recognition events: K+ binding to the crown ethers, pseudorotaxane formation with secondary ammonium ions and Cl− binding to the urea units. Addition of a cryptand that scavenges the K+ ions and Ag+ addition to remove the chloride and bases/acids, which mediate pseudorotaxane formation, can reverse this process. With the gelator, and these chemical stimuli, a number of different systems can be designed that behave as logic gates. Depending on the choice of components, OR, AND, XOR, NOT, NOR, XNOR and INHIBIT gates have been realized. Thus, the gel–sol transition as a property of the system as a whole is influenced in a complex manner. For some cases, the type of logic gate is defined by input signal concentration so that an even more complex reaction of the gel towards the two input signals is achieved.