Stealth Amphiphiles: Self-Assembly of Polyhedral Boron Clusters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Vladimír Ďorďovič
  • Zdeněk Tošner
  • Mariusz Uchman
  • Alexander Zhigunov
  • Mehedi Reza
  • Janne Ruokolainen

  • Goutam Pramanik
  • Petr Cígler
  • Květa Kalíková
  • Michael Gradzielski
  • Pavel Matějíček

Research units

  • Charles University in Prague
  • Czech Academy of Sciences
  • Technical University of Berlin


This is the first experimental evidence that both self-assembly and surface activity are common features of all water-soluble boron cluster compounds. The solution behavior of anionic polyhedral boranes (sodium decaborate, sodium dodecaborate, and sodium mercaptododecaborate), carboranes (potassium 1-carba-dodecaborate), and metallacarboranes {sodium [cobalt bis(1,2-dicarbollide)]} was extensively studied, and it is evident that all the anionic boron clusters form multimolecular aggregates in water. However, the mechanism of aggregation is dependent on size and polarity. The series of studied clusters spans from a small hydrophilic decaborate-resembling hydrotrope to a bulky hydrophobic cobalt bis(dicarbollide) behaving like a classical surfactant. Despite their pristine structure resembling Platonic solids, the nature of anionic boron cluster compounds is inherently amphiphilic - they are stealth amphiphiles.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6713-6722
Number of pages10
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

ID: 6749886