Chain reactions, hexosomes and unexpected shades of the colour blue

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Chain reactions, hexosomes and unexpected shades of the colour blue

  • Event time: 1:00pm
  • Event date: 11th December 2006
  • Speaker: Kathryn White (Formerly School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

Oligomeric surfactants are made by tethering ordinary 'monomeric' surfactant molecules together into dimers, trimers and so on. They display a range of interesting behaviour, and also have the potential to make industrial surfactant use vastly more efficient. Making them, however, is a bit of a pain.
Recent work unexpectedly resulted in an easy synthesis for a particular family of oligomeric surfactants. Depending on the average length of the oligomers, they self-assemble into a variety of structures in both aqueous and nonaqueous solvents. In addition, the synthesis turns out to be a handy way of growing internally ordered nanoparticles. These consist of the H2 phase (inverted hexagonal lyotropic liquid crystal), and are known as hexosomes.
As a final bonus, these oligomeric surfactants also have interesting chromophoric properties that are dependent on pH, and which looks to be due to an unusual intramolecular charge-transfer complex.

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

Find out more about Condensed Matter lunchtime seminars.