Chemical entities designed to noncovalently interact with predetermined partners have fashioned a new paradigm in chemical biology. Fluorocarbons are extremely promising as supramolecular synthons toward these objectives. Bioorthogonal noncovalent interactions provide a way to modulate self-assembled systems in environments where such control has hitherto not been possible. Fluorocarbons have now found applications in self-assembly as well as proteomics, biomolecule purification and in the creation of microarray platforms. Other self-assembly motifs with similar attributes might be exploited using the same general approach.