Surfactant gel (L-beta) phases routinely form metastable states with long relaxation times to the equilibrium structure

D M Bloor, A E James, A Liao, L Lue, G J T Tiddy, R Xu

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    Abstract

    The gel (L-beta) phase is commonly observed on cooling a lamellar phase of longer chain amphiphiles. A review of gel/lamellar transition enthalpies for a wide range of di-alkylphosphatidyl cholines (lecithins) suggests that a large number of different alkyl chain arrangements are possible for the gel phase. Furthermore, the application of Ostwald's law of stages indicates that the initial gel state formed on cooling is very likely to be a non-equilibrium metastable state. Experimental evidence from surfactant-specific electrode studies and theology for the hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide/hexadecanol (CTAB/C16OH) gel phase system is presented to demonstrate that slow equilibration effects are observed in practise. The detailed molecular organisation within gel phases has yet to be elucidated, and will be the subject of intensive effort over the next few years.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSelf-Assembly
    EditorsB H Robinson
    PublisherIOS Press
    Pages202-211
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)9781586033828
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

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