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Lamellar miscibility gap in a binary catanionic surfactant-water system.

Authors
  • Silva, Bruno F B
  • Marques, Eduardo F
  • Olsson, Ulf
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of Physical Chemistry B
Publisher
American Chemical Society
Publication Date
Dec 06, 2007
Volume
111
Issue
48
Pages
13520–13526
Identifiers
PMID: 17994726
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The coexistence of two lamellar liquid-crystalline phases in equilibrium for binary surfactant-water systems is a rare and still puzzling phenomenon. In the few binary systems where it has been demonstrated experimentally, the surfactant is invariably ionic and the miscibility gap is thought to stem from a subtle balance between attractive and repulsive interbilayer forces. In this paper, we report for the first time a miscibility gap for a catanionic lamellar phase formed by the surfactant hexadecyltrimethylammonium octylsulfonate (TASo) in water. Synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering, polarizing light microscopy, and 2H NMR unequivocally show the coexistence of a dilute (or swollen) lamellar phase, Lalpha', and a concentrated (or collapsed) lamellar phase, Lalpha' '. Furthermore, linear swelling is observed for each of the phases, with the immiscibility region occurring for 15-54 wt % surfactant. In the dilute region, the swollen lamellar phase is in equilibrium with an isotropic micellar region. Vesicles can be observed in this two-phase region as a dispersion of Lalpha' in the solution phase. A theoretical cell model based on combined DLVO and short-range repulsive potentials is presented in order to provide physical insight into the miscibility gap. The surfactant TASo is net uncharged, but it undergoes partial dissociation owing to the higher aqueous solubility of the short octylsulfonate chain. Thus, a residual positive charge in the bilayer is originated and, consequently, an electrostatic repulsive force, whose magnitude is dependent on surfactant concentration. For physically reasonable values of the solubility of the octyl chain, assumed to be constant with surfactant volume fraction, a fairly good agreement is observed between the experimental miscibility gap and the theoretical one.

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