Self-Exfoliated Guanidinium-Based Ionic Covalent Organic Nanosheets (iCONs)

Covalent organic nanosheets (CONs) have emerged as functional two-dimensional materials for versatile applications. Although π–π stacking between layers, hydrolytic instability, possible restacking prevents their exfoliation on to few thin layered CONs from crystalline porous polymers. We anticipated rational designing of a structure by intrinsic ionic linker could be the solution to produce self-exfoliated CONs without external stimuli. In an attempt to address this issue, we have synthesized three self-exfoliated guanidinium halide based ionic covalent organic nanosheets (iCONs) with antimicrobial property. Self-exfoliation phenomenon has been supported by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation as well. Intrinsic ionic guanidinium unit plays the pivotal role for both self-exfoliation and antibacterial property against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Using such iCONs, we have devised a mixed matrix membrane which could be useful for antimicrobial coatings with plausible medical benefits.