Supramolecular Energy Materials

Oliver Dumele, Jiahao Chen, James V. Passarelli, Samuel I. Stupp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Self-assembly is a bioinspired strategy to craft materials for renewable and clean energy technologies. In plants, the alignment and assembly of the light-harvesting protein machinery in the green leaf optimize the ability to efficiently convert light from the sun to form chemical bonds. In artificial systems, strategies based on self-assembly using noncovalent interactions offer the possibility to mimic this functional correlation among molecules to optimize photocatalysis, photovoltaics, and energy storage. One of the long-term objectives of the field described here as supramolecular energy materials is to learn how to design soft materials containing light-harvesting assemblies and catalysts to generate fuels and useful chemicals. Supramolecular energy materials also hold great potential in the design of systems for photovoltaics in which intermolecular interactions in self-assembled structures, for example, in electron donor and acceptor phases, maximize charge transport and avoid exciton recombination. Possible pathways to integrate organic and inorganic structures by templating strategies and electrodeposition to create materials relevant to energy challenges including photoconductors and supercapacitors are also described. The final topic discussed is the synthesis of hybrid perovskites in which organic molecules are used to modify both structure and functions, which may include chemical stability, photovoltaics, and light emission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1907247
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number17
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • energy materials
  • photocatalysis
  • self-assembly
  • solar cells
  • supramolecular chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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