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J Am Chem Soc. 2006 Oct 4;128(39):12758-65.

When is water not water? Exploring water confined in large reverse micelles using a highly charged inorganic molecular probe.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1872, USA.


The interior water pool of aerosol OT (AOT) reverse micelles tends toward bulk water properties as the micelle size increases. Thus, deviations from bulk water behavior in large reverse micelles are less expected than in small reverse micelles. Probing the interior water pool of AOT reverse micelles with a highly charged decavanadate (V(10)) oligomer using (51)V NMR spectroscopy shows distinct changes in solute environment. For example, when an acidic stock solution of protonated V(10) is placed in a reverse micelle, the (51)V chemical shifts show that the V(10) is deprotonated consistent with a decreased proton concentration in the intramicellar water pool. Results indicate that a proton gradient exists inside the reverse micelles, leaving the interior neutral while the interfacial region is acidic.

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