Interfacial adsorption of lipopeptide surfactants at the silica/water interface studied by neutron reflection

Donghui Jia, Kai Tao, Jiqian Wang, Chengdong Wang, Xiubo Zhao, Mohammed Yaseen, Hai Xu, Guohe Que, John R P Webster, Jian R. Lu

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    Lipopeptide surfactants are composed of amino acids and fatty acids and carry the inherent benefits of biocompatibility, degradability, functionality and easiness for structural design. In this work, the interfacial adsorption of a novel lipopeptide surfactant C14K1 has been examined by combining the measurements of spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) and neutron reflection (NR). As for other model surfactants, the silicon oxide/water interface has been adopted to undertake the interfacial screening due to its readiness to facilitate the parallel measurements. SE revealed that the dynamic interfacial adsorption was characterized by an initial fast step within the first 2-3 min, followed by a slow relaxation step over the subsequent 30 min or so. Majority of the lipopeptide was found to adsorb with the fast initial step but the subsequent structural relaxation and adjustment led to the adsorption plateau. Interestingly, this pattern of dynamic adsorption is very different from amphiphilic peptides such as V6K1 and V 6K2, but is similar to diblock copolymers bearing a hydrophilic MPC block and a pH responsive DEA block comprised of tertiary amine groups. Subsequent NR, in conjunction with deuterium labeling, revealed the formation of bilayer structure over a wide concentration and pH range, with the hydrophobic tails sandwiched in the middle and hydrophilic charged head groups projected outwards. The fully packed bilayer is some 40 thick and changes in pH did not affect layer thickness much but did alter the packing density due to the different electrostatic repulsion associated with the charge dissociation of the head groups. Whilst surface adsorption of C14K1 behaved in many aspects like nonionic C12E6 (surface tension, salt effect and bilayer packing), detailed structural determination revealed little intermixing between the heads and tails, an observation different from C12E6. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1777-1788
    Number of pages11
    JournalSoft Matter
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2011


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