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Deep eutectic solvents (DES) are potentially greener solvents obtained through the complexation of simple precursors which, among other applications, have been investigated in recent years for their ability to support the self-assembly of amphiphilic molecules. It is crucial to understand the factors which influence surfactant solubility and self-assembly with respect to the interaction of the surfactant molecule with the DES components. In this work, small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) has been used to investigate the micellization of cationic (CnTAB) and anionic (SDS) surfactants in a ternary DES comprising choline chloride, urea, and glycerol, where the hydrogen bond donors are mixed in varying molar ratios. The results show that in each case either globular or rodlike micelles are formed with the degree of elongation being directly dependent on the composition of the DES. It is hypothesized that this composition dependence arises largely from the poor solubility of the counterions in the DES, especially at low glycerol content, leading to a tighter binding of the counterion to the micelle surface and giving rise to micelles with a high aspect ratio. This potential for accurate control over micelle morphology presents unique opportunities for rheology control or to develop templated syntheses of porous materials in DES, utilizing the solvent composition to tailor micelle shape and size, and hence the pore structure of the resulting material.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry
Data supporting: Morphology modulation of ionic surfactant micelles in ternary deep eutectic solvents