The ability of single-chain surfactants to emulsify an aqueous-based liquid crystal oscillates with odd-even parity of alkyl-chain length

Nisha Varghese, Gauri S. Shetye, Sijie Yang, Stephan Wilkens, Robert P. Smith, Yan Yeung Luk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The physical properties of many organic molecules often oscillate when the number of carbons in their aliphatic chains changes from odd to even. This odd-even effect for single-chain surfactants in solution is rarely observed. Here, we report the ability of single-chain surfactants to emulsify a class of non-amphiphilic organic salts, disodium cromoglycate (5'DSCG) oscillates as a function of the odd or even number of the aliphatic carbons. This system provides a water-in-oil-in-water emulsion, in which aqueous droplets of 5'DSCG in liquid crystal phases are coated with single-chain surfactants in a bulk carrying aqueous solution. For both surfactants of CH3(CH2)nOSO3-Na+ and CH3(CH2)nCOO-Na+, the ability to emulsify 5'DSCG molecules in water is stronger for surfactants with an odd number of sp3-hybridized carbon atoms in the aliphatic chains than those with an even number. This observed odd-even effect is consistent with the notion that conventional micelles possess a core of randomly arranged surfactant hydrocarbon tails. However, this water-in-oil-in-water resembles a vesicle system in which the surfactants assemble in a highly ordered structure that separates two aqueous systems. These new self-assembled phases have potential application in the formulation and design of new organic soft materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-99
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Volume412
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2013

Keywords

  • Chromonic liquid crystal
  • Disodium cromoglycate (5'DSCG)
  • Odd-even effect
  • Single-chain surfactants
  • Water-in-oil-water emulsion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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