National Research Council of Canada. NRC Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences
National Research Council of Canada. NRC Institute for Research in Construction
National Research Council of Canada. NRC Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology
National Research Council of Canada. NRC Institute for Microstructural Sciences
Our recent discovery of a new dipeptide gelator that can be activated by ultrasound in alkanes and polar solvents allows one to envision several unusual and unexpected applications. A striking feature of this dipeptide is the readily ultrasound-induced gelation in hexane containing CdSe/ZnS core/shell QDs. In this case, ultrasound allows a blurring of the frontier between ‘‘soft’’ multi-responsive supramolecular gels and ‘‘hard’’ light-emitting semiconductor NPs, affording new materials displaying properties from each component. Here, we describe the preparation of QD-dipeptide nanocomposite gels which show bright luminescence under UV light and which can be switched from liquid to solid by ultrasound and back to liquid when heated. Applications using the gel and the dry material (xerogel) are also demonstrated regarding chemical sensing.