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Ion Atmosphere of Wormlike Micelles Profiled by Contrast Variation Small-Angle Neutron Scattering

Cite this: ACS Macro Lett. 2022, 11, 1, 66–71
Publication Date (Web):December 21, 2021
https://doi.org/10.1021/acsmacrolett.1c00562
Copyright © 2021 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    Structural studies of wormlike micelles have so far mostly focused on the conformational properties of surfactant aggregates. The diffuse ionic atmosphere, which has a profound influence on various micellization phenomena such as thermodynamic stability and structural polymorphism, remains largely unexplored experimentally. In this report a strategy of contrast variation small-angle neutron scattering for this crucial structural study is outlined. Underlined by a general criterion established for unbiasedly identifying the length scale relevant to charge association from the spectral evolution, our analytical framework can provide a quantitative description of counterion distribution in a mathematically tractable manner. Our method can be conveniently extended to facilitate structural studies of complex multicomponent systems using contrast variation neutron scattering.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsmacrolett.1c00562.

    • 1. Derivation of the scattering function of cylindrical CTAB aggregates. 2. Derivation of the scattering function of diffuse salicylate anions around the surface of cationic CTAB aggregates. 3. Derivation of the cross-correlation function of CTAB aggregates and salicylate anions. 4. Generalization of the prognostic criterion. 5. Combined USANS–SANS coherent scattering cross section of d-CTAB/h-NaSal solutions (PDF)

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