Functionalised dipeptides and amino acids can be very effective low molecular weight gelators. Hydrogels can often be prepared in a range of ways, for example adding salts, changing the pH, or using a solvent-mediated approach. All of these methods can lead to different gel properties and it is clear that how the gels are formed has at least as much of an impact on the final properties of the gels as the identity of the gelator itself. Here, I will discuss this, focussing on how the properties can be controlled. For example, I show how different gelation approaches lead to very different network types. I will also discuss using multi-component systems as a means of modifying and controlling gel properties.
This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..