Aqua Materials

Can materials employing water as a major component be strong, and, at the same time, adaptive? As strong as polymeric materials but much more stimuli-responsive? Such concept of environmentally friendly “aqua materials” (or “aqua plastics”) is an enticing one. Remarkably, water is an active and dominant ingredient – it can impose very strong noncovalent interactions. But creating real-world functional materials that are robust, adaptive, nanostructured, and made mostly of water? Sounds futuristic? In our lab, we aim to construct such materials. For example, recently we have made a tough “aqua” membrane that efficiently purifies water from heavy metals and organic molecules, while sustaining high pressures. This proves a point that an aqua material can fit a real-world demanding industrial application. Despite being robust, the membrane can be easily disassembled (owing to its noncovalent nature) for cleaning and recycling, important for advancing the idea of sustainable materials.


Cohen E; Weissman H; Shimoni E; Kaplan‐Ashiri I; Werle K; Wohlleben W; Rybtchinski B (2017). Robust Aqua Material: A Pressure‐Resistant Self‐Assembled Membrane for Water Purification. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 56(8):2203-7.

Krieg, E; Bastings, MMC; Besenius, P; Rybtchinski, B (2016). Supramolecular Polymers in Aqueous Media.  Chemical Reviews. 116:2414-2477.

Tsarfati, Y; Strauss, V; Kuhri, S; Krieg, E; Weissman, H; Shimoni, E; Baram, J; Guldi, DM; Rybtchinski, B (2015). Dispersing Perylene Diimide/SWCNT Hybrids: Structural Insights at the Molecular Level and Fabricating Advanced Materials.  Journal of The American Chemical Society. 137:7429-7440.


Krieg, E; Albeck, S; Weissman, H; Shimoni, E; Rybtchinski, B (2013). Separation, Immobilization, and Biocatalytic Utilization of Proteins by a Supramolecular Membrane.  Plos One. 8(5):e63188.


Krieg, E; Rybtchinski, B (2011). Noncovalent Water-Based Materials: Robust yet Adaptive.  Chemistry-A European Journal. 17:9016-9026.


Krieg, E; Weissman, H; Shirman, E; Shimoni, E; Rybtchinski, B (2011). A recyclable supramolecular membrane for size-selective separation of nanoparticles.  Nature Nanotechnology. 6:141-146.

Krieg, E; Shirman, E; Weissman, H; Shimoni, E; Wolf, SG; Pinkas, I; Rybtchinski, B (2009). Supramolecular Gel Based on a Perylene Diimide Dye: Multiple Stimuli Responsiveness, Robustness, and Photofunction.  Journal Of The American Chemical Society. 131:14365-14373.