A novel lyotropic liquid crystal formed by triphilic star-polyphiles: hydrophilic/oleophilic/fluorophilic rods arranged in a 12.6.4. tiling

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Triphilic star-polyphiles are short-chain oligomeric molecules with a radial arrangement of hydrophilic, hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon chains linked to a common centre. They form a number of liquid crystalline structures when mixed with water. In this contribution we focus on a hexagonal liquid crystalline mesophase found in star-polyphiles as compared to the corresponding double-chain surfactant to determine whether the hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon chains are in fact demixed in these star-polyphile systems, or whether both hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon chains are miscible, leading to a single hydrophobic domain, making the star-polyphile effectively amphiphilic. We report SANS contrast variation data that are compatible only with the presence of three distinct immiscible domains within this hexagonal mesophase, confirming that these star-polyphile liquid crystals are indeed hydrophilic/oleophilic/fluorophilic 3-phase systems. Quantitative comparison with scattering simulations shows that the experimental data are in very good agreement with an underlying 2D columnar (12.6.4) tiling. As in a conventional amphiphilic hexagonal mesophase, the hexagonally packed water channels (dodecagonal prismatic domains) are embedded in a hydrophobic matrix, but that matrix is split into oleophilic hexagonal prismatic domains and fluorophilic quadrangular prismatic domains.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)3139-3152
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Research areas

  • Fluorocarbons, Hydrocarbons, Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions, Liquid Crystals, Neutron Diffraction, Scattering, Small Angle, Water, X-Ray Diffraction

ID: 37471158