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Thermoreversible gelation and self-assembly behavior of dibenzylidene sorbitol in ternary solvent mixtures

  • John, Jerin1
  • Ardhianto, Kurniawan1
  • Nandagopalan, Purushothaman1, 2
  • Baek, Seung Wook1
  • 1 Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Department of Aerospace Engineering, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 291, Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 34141, Republic of Korea , Daejeon (South Korea)
  • 2 Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science, Department of Aeronautical Engineering, Padur, Chennai, 603103, India , Chennai (India)
Published Article
Colloid & Polymer Science
Publication Date
Jan 31, 2019
DOI: 10.1007/s00396-019-04471-z
Springer Nature


The self-assembly behavior of 1,3:2,4-dibenzylidene-D-sorbitol (DBS) in ternary solvents has been systematically investigated for the use of kerosene gel in the aerospace propulsion. DBS forms a yield viscoelastic gels in a wide range of kerosene/hexanol/DMSO solvent concentrations despite the fact that DBS is incapable of gelling kerosene fuel. The gelation behavior of DBS in the solvent mixture is predicted using the Hansen solubility parameters. The polar parameter (δP) and hydrogen bonding (δH) parameter lie in the range of 1.96 ≤ δP ≤ 4.30 J0.5cm−1.5 and 3.40 ≤ δH ≤ 7.30 J0.5cm−1.5 respectively for the formation of gel in kerosene/hexanol/DMSO system. The phase transition temperature (Tf) of DBS gel is determined using temperature sweep measurement and predicted using modified Friedrich (MF) relation which is found be in close agreement with an average deviation of ± 10 °C. However, the deviation becomes larger when δP > 4.30 and δH > 7.30, in other words, with increase in the solvent polarity. As the solvent polarity or concentration of hexanol increases in the mixture, the gels exhibit a low Tf and Gmax′\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$ {G}_{max}^{\prime } $$\end{document} value because of the hindrance of self-assembling ability of DBS due to the intermolecular hydrogen bonding between DBS and solvents. The viscoelastic behavior of DBS gels is investigated using the oscillation sweep measurements and the storage modulus G′ is found to be higher than the loss modulus G″ for larger stress amplitude and frequency, indicating a solid-like nature of the gels. Furthermore, the microstructure analysis shows the presence of 3D nano-fibrillar morphology, which further depends on the solvent polarity. Microstructure changes from ‘rope-like’ fiber aggregate (Hex100; CH = 88 wt%) to a ‘web-like’ structures (Hex25; CH = 25 wt%), when the CH is decreased in the solvent mixture.

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