This work focuses on the dynamic phenomena emerging in self-assembled transient intermolecular networks formed when two different surfactants are mixed. In particular, the relaxation processes in liquid mixtures composed by bis(2-ethylhexyl)amine (BEEA) and octanoic acid (OA) in the whole composition range has been investigated by dielectric spectroscopy and Brillouin spectroscopy. A thorough analysis of all the experimental data consistently suggests that, mainly driven by acid-base interactions arising when the two surfactants are mixed, supra-molecular aggregates formation causes the slowing down of molecular dynamics. This, in turn, reflects to longer-range relaxations. These changes have been found to be composition-dependent, involving strong departures of the mixture physico-chemical properties from an ideal behaviour, and reflecting the structural and dynamical features of local structures. In particular, the peculiar dynamic processes occurring in these local inter-molecular structures, have been found to be the factors responsible for the observed and quite surprising increase of direct-current conductivity which occurs when two different (and pretty non-conductive) surfactants are mixed. The discovery can be used not only to design novel materials for application purposes but also to shed more light on the basic principles regulating charge migration in structured liquid systems.
Emerging dynamics in surfactant-based liquid mixtures: Octanoic acid/bis(2-ethylhexyl) amine systems
Pietro Calandra, Andrea Mandanici, Vincenzo Turco Liveri, Mikolaj Pochylski, Francesco Aliotta; Emerging dynamics in surfactant-based liquid mixtures: Octanoic acid/bis(2-ethylhexyl) amine systems. J. Chem. Phys. 14 February 2012; 136 (6): 064515. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3684713
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