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Squaramide‐Based Self‐Associating Amphiphiles for Anion Recognition

Kumawat, Lokesh K.; Wynne, Conor; Cappello, Emanuele; Fisher, Peter; Brennan, Luke E.; Strofaldi, Alessandro; McManus, Jennifer J.; Hawes, Chris S.; Jolliffe, Katrina A.; Gunnlaugsson, Thorfinnur; Elmes, Robert B. P.

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Lokesh K. Kumawat

Conor Wynne

Emanuele Cappello

Peter Fisher

Luke E. Brennan

Alessandro Strofaldi

Jennifer J. McManus

Katrina A. Jolliffe

Thorfinnur Gunnlaugsson

Robert B. P. Elmes


The synthesis and characterisation of two novel self‐assembled amphiphiles (SSAs) SQS‐1 and SQS‐2 are reported. Both compounds, based on the squaramide motif, were fully soluble in a range of solvents and were shown to undergo self‐assembly through a range of physical techniques. Self‐assembly was shown to favour the formation of crystalline domains on the nanoscale but also fibrillar film formation, as suggested by SEM analysis. Moreover, both SQS‐1 and SQS‐2 were capable of anion recognition in DMSO solution as demonstrated using 1H NMR and UV/Vis absorption spectroscopy, but displayed lower binding affinities for various anions when compared against other squaramide based receptors. In more competitive solvent mixtures SQS‐1 gave rise to a colourimetric response in the presence of HPO42− that was clearly visible to the naked eye. We anticipate that the observed response is due to the basic nature of the HPO42− anion when compared against other biologically relevant anions.


Kumawat, L. K., Wynne, C., Cappello, E., Fisher, P., Brennan, L. E., Strofaldi, A., …Elmes, R. B. P. (2021). Squaramide‐Based Self‐Associating Amphiphiles for Anion Recognition. ChemPlusChem, 86(8), 1058-1068.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 12, 2021
Online Publication Date Aug 5, 2021
Publication Date Jul 12, 2021
Publicly Available Date May 30, 2023
Journal ChemPlusChem
Publisher Wiley
Volume 86
Issue 8
Pages 1058-1068
Keywords General Chemistry
Publisher URL


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