A new hydrogelator based on L‐phenylalanine with a long hydrophobic chain and positively charged terminus was synthesized, and its gelation behavior in H2O was investigated. Polarized optical microscopy (POM), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE‐SEM), and X‐ray diffraction (XRD) results indicate that the hydrogelator self‐assembles into fibres‐like aggregates which then lead to the formation of a hydrogel. 1H‐NMR and CD spectra of hydrogels and aqueous solution revealed that intermolecular H‐bonding between the amide groups was the driving force for gelation. A luminescence study, in which ANS (8‐anilinonaphthalene‐1‐sulfonic acid) was used as a probe, indicated that the hydrophobic interactions between long chains were the driving force for gelation. Consequently, it was proved that the hydrogelator self‐assembles into fibre‐like aggregates and then forms supramolecular hydrogels through the H‐bonding and hydrophobic interactions.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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