Nano-demixing as a novel strategy for magneticfield responsive systems: the case of dibutylphosphate/bis(2-ethylhexyl)amine systems

Vincenzo Turco Liveri, Cesare Oliviero Rossi, Cesare Oliviero Rossi, Isabella Nicotera, Pietro Calandra, Mikolaj Pochylski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


Pure surfactant liquids and their binary mixtures, owing to the amphiphilic nature of the molecules involved,can exhibit nano-segregation and peculiar transport properties. The possibility of opportunely choosing theamphiphiles should lead to the formation of anisotropic aggregates that can be oriented by an externalfactor like a magnetic field. In this case some properties, like optical birefringence, can be induced bythe use of a magnetic field. Dynamic features of dibutyl phosphate (DBP)/bis(2-ethylhexyl)amine (BEEA)mixtures have been investigated by FT-IR, NMR, rheometry, Brillouin scattering, and magneticallyinducedbirefringence measurements as a function of the BEEA mole fraction (X). It turns out that BEEA/DBP liquid mixtures, driven by H-bond formation, show zero-threshold percolating self-assembly witha maximum in viscosity and a minimum in molecular diffusion at 1 : 1 composition. Interestingly, it hasbeen highlighted that nano-segregation takes place at X y 0.7 with the formation of DBP-rich closedlocal structures that are fully-responsive to an external magnetic field, rendering the system birefringent.It is worth noting that this is the first observation of amphiphile-based micelles in amphiphilic medium.The analysis of all the experimental data consistently pointed out the microscopic factors involved in thispeculiar phenomenon and in particular emphasized the role of specific polar and apolar interactionsalong with to steric effects in regulating the molecular organization in surfactant mixtures. This reportpresents novel clear, stable and anhydrous systems, fully responsive to a magnetic field with tunableoptical birefringence, and opens new trends in the directed design of water-free optically-active fluids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26696-26708
Number of pages13
JournalRSC Advances
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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