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J Phys Chem B. 2008 Jul 24;112(29):8645-50. doi: 10.1021/jp802179j. Epub 2008 Jul 1.

On the self-aggregation and fluorescence quenching aptitude of surfactant ionic liquids.

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  • 1Instituto de Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica, ITQB 2, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Apartado 127, 2780-901 Oeiras, Portugal.


The aggregation behavior in aqueous solution of a number of ionic liquids was investigated at ambient conditions by using three techniques: fluorescence, interfacial tension, and (1)H NMR spectroscopy. For the first time, the fluorescence quenching effect has been used for the determination of critical micelle concentrations. This study focuses on the following ionic liquids: [Cnmpy]Cl (1-alkyl-3-methylpyridinium chlorides) with different linear alkyl chain lengths (n=4, 10, 12, 14, 16, or 18), [C12mpip]Br (1-dodecyl-1-methylpiperidinium bromide), [C12mpy]Br (1-dodecyl-3-methylpyridinium bromide), and [C12mpyrr]Br (1-dodecyl-1-methylpyrrolidinium bromide). Both the influence of the alkyl side-chain length and the type of ring in the cation (head) on the CMC were investigated. A comparison of the self-aggregation behavior of ionic liquids based on 1-alkyl-3-methylpyridinium and 1-alkyl-3-methylpyridinium cations is provided. It was observed that 1-alkyl-3-methylpyridinium ionic liquids could be used as quenchers for some fluorescence probes (fluorophores). As a consequence, a simple and convenient method to probe early evidence of aggregate formation was established.

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