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Solvent Contribution to the Stability of a Physical Gel Characterized by Quasi-Elastic Neutron Scattering

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Université Grenoble Alpes, LIPhy, F-38000 Grenoble, France
CNRS, LIPhy, F-38000 Grenoble, France
§ Institut Laue Langevin, BP 87, 38042 Grenoble Cx 9, France
Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d’Orsay, CNRS and Université Paris Sud, F-91405 Orsay, France
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università degli Studi di Perugia, I-06123 Perugia, Italy
Cite this: Langmuir 2015, 31, 8, 2554–2560
Publication Date (Web):February 4, 2015
https://doi.org/10.1021/la5045656
Copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    The dynamics of a physical gel, namely, low-molecular-mass organic gelator methyl-4,6-O-benzylidene-α-d-mannopyranoside (α-manno) in water and toluene, are probed by neutron scattering. Using high gelator concentrations, we were able to determine, on a time scale from a few picoseconds to 1 nanosecond, the number of solvent molecules that are immobilized by the rigid network formed by the gelators. We found that only a few toluene molecules per gelator participate in the network which is formed by hydrogen bonding between the gelators’ sugar moieties. In water, however, the interactions leading to the gel formations are weaker, involving dipolar, hydrophobic, or π–π interactions, and hydrogen bonds are formed between the gelators and the surrounding water. Therefore, around 10 to 14 water molecules per gelator are immobilized by the presence of the network. This study shows that neutron scattering can give valuable information about the behavior of solvent confined in a molecular gel.

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    Cited By

    This article is cited by 6 publications.

    1. Julie Wolanin, Jérôme Giraud, Claude Payre, Marianne Benoit, Claire Antonelli, Damien Quemener, Iliass Tahiri, Matthieu Vandamme, Jean-Marc Zanotti, Marie Plazanet. Oedometric-like setup for the study of water transport in porous media by quasi-elastic neutron scattering. Review of Scientific Instruments 2021, 92 (2) https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0030297
    2. Gabriele Sala, Jiao Y. Y. Lin, Van B. Graves, Georg Ehlers. Conceptual design of CHESS, a new direct-geometry inelastic neutron spectrometer dedicated to studying small samples. Journal of Applied Crystallography 2018, 51 (2) , 282-293. https://doi.org/10.1107/S1600576718002224
    3. Tilo Seydel, Robert M. Edkins, Christopher D. Jones, Jonathan A. Foster, Robert Bewley, Juan A. Aguilar, Katharina Edkins. Increased rate of solvent diffusion in a prototypical supramolecular gel measured on the picosecond timescale. Chemical Communications 2018, 54 (49) , 6340-6343. https://doi.org/10.1039/C8CC02962H
    4. Baiju P. Krishnan, Kana M. Sureshan. A Molecular‐Level Study of Metamorphosis and Strengthening of Gels by Spontaneous Polymorphic Transitions. ChemPhysChem 2016, 17 (19) , 3062-3067. https://doi.org/10.1002/cphc.201600590
    5. I. Morfin, S. Spagnoli, C. Rambaud, S. Longeville, M. Plazanet. Behaviour of a solvent trapped in a physical molecular gel. Philosophical Magazine 2016, 96 (7-9) , 809-815. https://doi.org/10.1080/14786435.2015.1123821
    6. Rolando Lozada-Garcia, Dan Mu, Marie Plazanet, Pierre Çarçabal. Molecular gels in the gas phase? Gelator–gelator and gelator–solvent interactions probed by vibrational spectroscopy. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 2016, 18 (32) , 22100-22107. https://doi.org/10.1039/C6CP02755E

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