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Self-Assembly in Deep Eutectic Solvents

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Deep eutectic solvents (DES) are hydrogen-bonded liquids obtained through the complexation of a halide salt with a hydrogen bond donor, enabling solvent properties to be tuned for particular properties, including low toxicity and sustainability. The hydrogen bonding network, like that in water, allows self-assembly of amphiphiles to occur in these solvents, with potential applications in templating of nanostructured materials. We are undertaking a systematic study to correlate the unique hydrogen-bonded nanostructure of DES with amphiphile aggregation behaviour. We use small and wide angle X-ray and neutron scattering to probe solvent structures, micelle size and shape and interfacial adsorption. DES offer control over micelle morphology, as the solvent can be tuned to be interacting or non-interacting with the surfactant, altering micelle shape. We find morphology transitions in the phase diagram of common surfactants in DES that are not found in other pure solvents. This presentation will discuss these unusual and interesting structures and postulate an explanation in terms of the interactions between the surfactant headgroups and their interactions with both solvent components and counterions.

This talk is part of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Flows (IEEF) series.

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