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Surface Tension and Aggregation Properties of Novel Cationic Gemini Surfactants with Diethylammonium Headgroups and a Diamido Spacer

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journal contribution
posted on 20.02.2016, 14:03 by Qi Zhang, Zhinong Gao, Feng Xu, Shuxin Tai, Xueguo Liu, Shaobo Mo, Fei Niu
A series of novel cationic gemini surfactants with diethylammonium headgroups and a diamido spacer were synthesized, and their surface and bulk properties were investigated by surface tension, electrical conductivity, fluorescence, viscosity, dynamic light scattering (DLS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) measurements. An interesting phenomenon, that is, the obvious decline in surface tension upon increasing concentration above the critical micelle concentration (cmc), was found in these gemini surfactant solutions, and two explanations were proposed. This surface tension behavior could be explained by the rapid increase in the counterion activity in the bulk phase or the continued filling of the interface with increasing surfactant concentration above the cmc. More interestingly, not only vesicles but also the surfactant-concentration-induced vesicle to larger aggregate (spongelike aggregate) transition and the salt-induced vesicle and spongelike aggregate to micelle transition were found in the aqueous solutions of these gemini surfactants. The spongelike aggregate that is first reported in the cationic gemini surfactant–water binary system is probably caused by the adhesion and fusion of vesicles at high surfactant concentration.