Hydrogen bonding control of molecular self-assembly

John Fredericks, Ji Yang, Steven J. Geib, Andrew D. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this short review we describe approaches to the design and construction of synthetic molecules that mimic the process of self organization that is at the heart of biological complexity. Multi-subunit enzymes, viruses, and higher order DNA structures are formed by the non-covalent association of many smaller components. This self-assembly is controlled by the nature, number and orientation of interacting groups on the surface of the subunits. The central problem lies in overcoming the unfavorable entropy of multi-subunit association by significant enthalpic contribution from the binding of complementary regions on the subunits. We will place particular emphasis on the design of synthetic molecules that use hydrogen bonding interactions to control the formation of aggregates of well-defined structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-935
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences - Chemical Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1994


  • Hydrogen bonding
  • molecular recognition
  • nanotechnology
  • self-organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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