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J Phys Chem B. 2006 Jul 13;110(27):13649-55.

Hydration of dimethyldodecylamine-N-oxide: enthalpy and entropy driven processes.

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Biomedical Laboratory Science, Health and Society, Malmö University, SE-205 06 Malmö, Sweden.


Dimethyldodecylamine-N-oxide (DDAO) has only one polar atom that is able to interact with water. Still, this surfactant shows very hydrophilic properties: in mixtures with water, it forms normal liquid crystalline phases and micelles. Moreover, there is data in the literature indicating that the hydration of this surfactant is driven by enthalpy while other studies show that hydration of surfactants and lipids typically is driven by entropy. Sorption calorimetry allows resolving enthalpic and entropic contributions to the free energy of hydration at constant temperature and thus directly determines the driving forces of hydration. The results of the present sorption calorimetric study show that the hydration of liquid crystalline phases of DDAO is driven by entropy, except for the hydration of the liquid crystalline lamellar phase which is co-driven by enthalpy. The exothermic heat effect of the hydration of the lamellar phase arises from formation of strong hydrogen bonds between DDAO and water. Another issue is the driving forces of the phase transitions caused by the hydration. The sorption calorimetric results show that the transitions from the lamellar to cubic and from the cubic to the hexagonal phase are driven by enthalpy. Transitions from solid phases to the liquid crystalline lamellar phase are entropically driven, while the formation of the monohydrate from the dry surfactant is driven by enthalpy. The driving forces of the transition from the hexagonal phase to the isotropic solution are close to zero. These sorption calorimetric results are in good agreement with the analysis of the binary phase diagram based on the van der Waals differential equation. The phase diagram of the DDAO-water system determined using DSC and sorption calorimetry is presented.

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