A study of anisotropic water self-diffusion and defects in the lamellar mesophase

Penny L. Hubbard, Kathryn M. McGrath, Paul T. Callaghan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The correlation of molecular diffusion coefficients obtained via a novel two-dimensional pulsed gradient spin-echo (PGSE) NMR method has been shown to reveal detailed structural information on the mesophases of lyotropic liquid crystals. A four-component system containing both nonionic (pentaethylene glycol monododecyl ether) and ionic (sodium dodecyl sulfate) surfactants, water, and decane was prepared and left to equilibrate. In the temperature region around 309 K, a lamellar mesophase forms. A two-dimensional Laplace inverse transformation was performed on the (yδg)2(Δ - δ/3) domain data to separate any multiexponential behavior that resulted from local anisotropy. The results of the double PGSE experiment with contiguous gradient pulse pairs, applied both collinearly and orthogonally, clearly show the presence of local anisotropic self-diffusion of the water molecules and suggest a preferred orientation of the lamellae. Information about defects/domain size was obtained by the insertion of a mixing time (τm′) between the successive gradient pulse pairs. This work highlights the value of this new NMR correlation method in the study of surfactant systems. © 2005 American Chemical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4340-4346
    Number of pages6
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2005


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