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Aggregation Behavior of Nitrophenoxy-Tailed Quaternary Ammonium Surfactants

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journal contribution
posted on 01.11.2007, 00:00 by Xu Huang, Yuchun Han, Yingxiong Wang, Yilin Wang
Cationic surfactants N,N,N-trimethyl-10-(4-nitrophenoxy)decylammonium bromide (N10TAB) and N,N,N‘,N‘-tetramethyl-N,N‘-bis[10-(4-nitrophenoxy)decyl]-1,6-hexanediammonium dibromide (N10-6-10N), bearing aromatic nitrophenoxy groups in the ends of their hydrophobic chains, have been synthesized, and their self-assembling properties in aqueous solutions have been studied by conductivity, isothermal titration microcalorimetry, 1H NMR spectroscopy, and dynamic light scattering. Below the critical micelle concentration, N10-6-10N can form premicelles with 2 or 3 surfactant molecules. Beyond the critical micelle concentration, the two surfactants have strong self-aggregation ability and can form micelles of rather small size and with small aggregation numbers N, which are 30 ± 3 for N10TAB and 20 ± 2 for N10-6-10N, respectively. Also, the variations in 1H NMR signals at different surfactant concentrations provide the information on the environmental change of the surfactants upon their micellization progress. The most prominent phenomenon is the shielding effect of the aromatic groups over the protons in the aliphatic chains, implying that the nitrophenoxy groups partially insert into the micelles and face the several middle methylenes of the hydrophobic side chains.