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Highly-Ordered Selective Self-Assembly of a Trimeric Cationic Surfactant on a Mica Surface

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journal contribution
posted on 07.10.2008, 00:00 by Yanbo Hou, Meiwen Cao, Manli Deng, Yilin Wang
Novel trimeric cationic surfactant tri(dodecyldimethylammonioacetoxy)diethyltriamine trichloride (DTAD) has been synthesized, and its self-assembly morphology on a mineral surface has been studied. From its micelle solution, highly ordered bilayer patterns are obtained on a mica surface, whereas randomly distributed bilayer patches are formed on a silica substrate. The highly ordered bilayer patterns on mica are first caused by the matching of the special structure of DTAD headgroups with the negative charge sites on mica, which leads to the specific nucleation of DTAD on the mica surface via electrostatic interaction. Furthermore, hydrophobic interaction among the DTAD hydrocarbon chains results in the formation of the bilayer structure, and intermolecular hydrogen-bonding among the DTAD headgroups promotes the directional growth of such bilayer structures.