American Chemical Society
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Complex Polyion−Surfactant Ion Salts in Equilibrium with Water:  Changing Aggregate Shape and Size by Adding Oil

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journal contribution
posted on 2006-11-23, 00:00 authored by Juliana S. Bernardes, Jens Norrman, Lennart Piculell, Watson Loh
The phase behavior of ternary mixtures containing an alkyltrimethylammonium polyacrylate complex salt, water, and a nonpolar “oil” (n-decanol, p-xylene or cyclohexane) is investigated. The complex salts were prepared with short or long polyacrylates (30 or 6000 repeating units) and with hexadecyltrimethylammonium or dodecyltrimethylammonium surfactant ions. Phase diagrams and structures were determined by visual inspection and small-angle X-ray scattering analyses. Systems containing decanol display a predominance of lamellar phases, while hexagonal phases prevail in systems containing p-xylene or cyclohexane. The difference is interpreted as a result of the different locations of the oils within the surfactant aggregates. Decanol is incorporated at the aggregate interface, leading to a decrease in its curvature, which favors the appearance of lamellar structures. p-Xylene and cyclohexane, on the other hand, are mostly incorporated in the interior of the cylindrical aggregate, as reflected by its swelling as the oil content increases. The comparison of these results with those reported for similar systems with monovalent (bromide) counterions indicates a much more limited swelling of the lamellar phases with polymeric counterions by water. This limited swelling behavior is predominantly ascribed to bridging due to the polyions.