Surfactant-Solvent Interaction Effects on the Micellization of Cationic Surfactants in a Carboxylic Acid-Based Deep Eutectic Solvent

Adrian Sanchez-Fernandez, Oliver S. Hammond, Andrew J. Jackson, Thomas Arnold, James Doutch, Karen J. Edler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (SciVal)


Deep eutectic solvents have been demonstrated to support amphiphile self-assembly, providing potential alternatives as structure-directing agents in the synthesis of nanostructures, and drug delivery. Here we have expanded on this recent research to investigate the self-assembly of alkyltrimethylammonium bromide surfactants in choline chloride:malonic acid deep eutectic solvent and mixtures of the solvent with water. Surface tension and small-angle neutron scattering were used to determine the behavior of the amphiphiles. Surfactants were found to remain active in the solvent, and surface tension measurements revealed changes in the behavior of the surfactants with different levels of hydration. Small-angle neutron scattering shows that in this solvent the micelle shape depends on the surfactant chain length, varying from globular micelles (aspect ratio ∼2) for short chain surfactants to elongated micelles (aspect ratio ∼14) for long chain surfactants even at low surfactant concentration. We suggest that the formation of elongated micelles can be explained through the interaction of the solvent with the surfactant headgroup, since ion-ion interactions between surfactant headgroups and solvent may modify the morphology of the micelles. The presence of water in the deep eutectic solvents promotes an increase in the charge density at the micelle interface and therefore the formation of less elongated, globular micelles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14304-14314
Number of pages11
Issue number50
Early online date28 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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