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Langmuir. 2009 Apr 7;25(7):3932-43.

Spontaneous formation of nanovesicles in mixtures of nonionic and dialkyl chain cationic surfactants studied by surface tension and SANS.

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Institut Laue Langevin, 6 rue Jules Horowitz, B.P. 156, 38042 Grenoble Cedex 9, France.


Surface tension and small-angle neutron scattering have been used to characterize the surface properties and the structure of the aggregates formed in the dilute part of the ternary system didodecyldimethyl ammonium bromide, DDAB/tetraethylene glycol monododecyl ether, C12E4/D2O. For surfactant molar ratios, Rn, between 0.3 and 1 (pure DDAB), the surface tension measurements show the existence of two break points at concentrations of around 10(-5) and 10(-3) mol/L, respectively. The SANS measurements have shown that the first break point corresponds to a critical micellar concentration (cmc) and the second one corresponds to a critical vesicle concentration (cvc). In the intermediate composition range, Rn = 0.3-0.8, very small unilamellar vesicles (nanovesicles) are formed with the inner radius varying between 28 and 85 A and a bilayer thickness of approximately 23 A. At Rn = 0.8, we observed a transition from small vesicles (V) to large bilamellar or multilamellar vesicles (BLV, MLV) with a relatively large lamellar periodicity of around 1000 A. In the nonionic-rich region below Rn = 0.3, more classical surface tension behavior was observed, with only one break point corresponding to the onset of formation of small globular micelles.


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