Inverted Micelle-in-Micelle Configuration in Cationic/Carbohydrate Surfactant Mixtures

Saikat Das, Wenjin Xu, Hans Joachim Lehmler, Anne Frances Miller, Barbara L. Knutson, Stephen E. Rankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Nuclear magnetic resonance is applied to investigate the relative positions and interactions between cationic and non-ionic carbohydrate-based surfactants in mixed micelles with D2O as the solvent. This is accomplished by using relaxation measurements [spin-lattice (T1) and spin-spin (T2) analysis] and nuclear Overhauser effect spectroscopy (NOESY). This study focuses on the interactions of n-octyl β-d-glucopyranoside (C8G1) and β-d-xylopyranoside (C8X1) with the cationic surfactant hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (C16TAB). Whereas the interactions between carbohydrate and cationic surfactants are thermodynamically favorable, the NOESY results suggest that both of the sugar head groups are located preferentially at the interior core of the mixed micelles, so that they are not directly exposed to the bulk solution. The more hydrophilic sugar headgroups of C8G1 have more mobility than sugar heads of C8X1 owing to increased hydration. Herein, an inverted carbohydrate configuration in mixed micelles is proposed for the first time and supported by fluorescence spectroscopy experiments. This inverted carbohydrate headgroup configuration would limit the use of these mixed surfactants when access to the carbohydrate headgroup is important, but may present new opportunities where the carbohydrate-rich core of the micelles can be exploited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • asymmetric vesicles
  • micelle structure
  • mixed surfactants
  • nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • self-assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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