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J Am Chem Soc. 2015 Aug 26;137(33):10809-15. doi: 10.1021/jacs.5b06655. Epub 2015 Aug 12.

Micelle Structure and Hydrophobic Hydration.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, Purdue University , West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, United States.

Abstract

Despite the ubiquity and utility of micelles self-assembled from aqueous surfactants, longstanding questions remain regarding their surface structure and interior hydration. Here we combine Raman spectroscopy with multivariate curve resolution (Raman-MCR) to probe the hydrophobic hydration of surfactants with various aliphatic chain lengths, and either anionic (carboxylate) or cationic (trimethylammonium) head groups, both below and above the critical micelle concentration. Our results reveal significant penetration of water into micelle interiors, well beyond the first few carbons adjacent to the headgroup. Moreover, the vibrational C-D frequency shifts of solubilized deuterated n-hexane confirm that it resides in a dry, oil-like environment (while the localization of solubilized benzene is sensitive to headgroup charge). Our findings imply that the hydrophobic core of a micelle is surrounded by a highly corrugated surface containing hydrated non-polar cavities whose depth increases with increasing surfactant chain length, thus bearing a greater resemblance to soluble proteins than previously recognized.

PMID:
26222042
DOI:
10.1021/jacs.5b06655
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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