Solvent Extraction: Structure of the Liquid–Liquid Interface Containing a Diamide Ligand

Ernesto Scoppola, Erik B. Watkins, Richard A. Campbell, Oleg Konovalov, Luc Girard, Jean Francois Dufrêche, Geoffroy Ferru, Giovanna Fragneto, Olivier Diat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Knowledge of the (supra)molecular structure of an interface that contains amphiphilic ligand molecules is necessary for a full understanding of ion transfer during solvent extraction. Even if molecular dynamics already yield some insight in the molecular configurations in solution, hardly any experimental data giving access to distributions of both extractant molecules and ions at the liquid–liquid interface exist. Here, the combined application of X-ray and neutron reflectivity measurements represents a key milestone in the deduction of the interfacial structure and potential with respect to two different lipophilic ligands. Indeed, we show for the first time that hard trivalent cations can be repelled or attracted by the extractant-enriched interface according to the nature of the ligand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9326-9330
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number32
Early online date20 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • ion transfer
  • liquid interfaces
  • neutron reflectometry
  • surface chemistry
  • X-ray reflectometry


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