We have published a paper with help from Prof. Gibson’s group in University of Warwick. The paper published in J. Mater. Chem. B. looks at gels which are resistant to subzero temperatures, which can be tuned and lowered even further by changing the concentration of gelator in the gels or by adding differing amounts of glycerol into the water part. This has not been previously shown for low molecular weight gelators and has previously only been shown in polymer based systems or organogels.
Rheology was performed to show that even at -40 oC for one of the gel, the rheological strain sweeps remain unaffected and the temperature can be swept up and down with no effect on the gel itself. This was really surprising, but also opens up the use of these gels to be used in low temperature applications, such as DMP NMR or cryopreservation as the gels are unharmed by low temperature.
Matt’s PhD student, Alice, did some beautiful imaging showing when the ice nucleation starts in each of the different gels at different temperatures. Thanks Alice, we hope you didn’t get too cold!
You can read the paper here for free, it’s open access!