4 years ago

Critical Role of the Spacer Length of Gemini Surfactants on the Formation of Ionic Liquid Crystals and Thermotropic Behavior

Critical Role of the Spacer Length of Gemini Surfactants on the Formation of Ionic Liquid Crystals and Thermotropic Behavior
Pedro B. Tavares, Eduardo F. Marques, Alberto A. C. C. Pais, Yujie Wang, Sandra C. C. Nunes, Ricardo M. F. Fernandes
Numerous reports have shown that the self-assembling properties of 12-s-12 bis(quaternary ammonium) gemini surfactants in aqueous solution are significantly influenced by s, the number of methylene groups in the covalent spacer. However, the role played by s on the phase behavior of the single compounds has not been investigated in a similarly systematic way. Here, we report on the thermotropic phase behavior of the anhydrous compounds with s = 2–6, 8, 10, and 12, resorting to differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), polarized light microscopy (PLM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). All of the compounds show a stepwise melting behavior, decomposing at 200 °C. As the spacer length increases, nonmonotonic trends are observed for the thermodynamic parameters of the thermotropic phase transitions, mesophase formation, and solid-state d00l spacings. In particular, the number and type of mesophases (ordered smectic phases and/or fluid smectic liquid crystals) depend critically on s. Further, upon heating molecules with s < 8 decompose before the liquid phase, while those with long spacers, s = 8–12, reach the isotropization (clearing) temperature, hence forming both ionic liquid crystals and ionic liquid phases. We demonstrate that the melting behavior and type of ionic mesophases formed by gemini molecules can be usefully manipulated by a simple structural parameter like the length of the covalent linker.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b08618

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b08618

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