Tuning the self-assembled aggregates in lyotropic liquid crystalline system | Department of Physics

Tuning the self-assembled aggregates in lyotropic liquid crystalline system

The most known structures of lyotropic liquid crystalline systems are the hexagonal phase of cylindrical micelles with a positive interfacial curvature and the lamellar phase of flat bilayers with zero interfacial curvature. Intermediate phases with non-uniform interfacial curvature are still unexplored steps to understand the route of phase transition from hexagonal to lamellar. Understanding the structural evolution in a lyotropic system is extremely important as it decides the complex rheological behavior of the system, which is the interest of the soft-matter industry. Sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) is an anionic surfactant and can be considered as a unique system to tune the electrostatics by cationic additives. In this project, ionic liquids (ILs) are planned to be used as the additives to alter the morphology of the SDS aggregates and to figure out the evolution of phases in the system. As the ILs have both the hydrophilic and hydrophobic parts, the interaction can be tuned with the charge moiety and the hydrocarbon chain length. Polarizing optical microscopy, SAXS, and rheological studies have been planned to draw a structure-function relationship in the system.

 

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