Tuning the position of head groups by surfactant design in mixed micelles of cationic and carbohydrate surfactants

Saikat Das, Edward Davis Oldham, Hans Joachim Lehmler, Barbara L. Knutson, Stephen E. Rankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Hypothesis Emerging applications of carbohydrate/cationic surfactant mixtures require not only synergistic mixing, but also accessible sugar headgroups at the exterior of micelles. A previous study showed that the glucoside headgroups of octyl-β-D-glucopyranoside aggregate at the interior of mixed micelles with equimolar cetyltrimethylammonium bromide rather than mixing with trimethylammonium groups at the corona. The current study tests the hypothesis that structural characteristics of the surfactants (the relative lengths of the alkyl tails and the type of linker) can be tuned to shift the carbohydrate groups to micelle surfaces. Experiments The structural arrangement of 30 mM equimolar mixed micelle solutions in D2O is investigated using NMR. The dynamics in different regions are probed using 1H spin-lattice (T1) and spin-spin (T2) relaxation measurements, and relative positioning by nuclear Overhauser effect spectroscopy (NOESY). Additional micellar properties are determined using solvatochromic fluorescent probes. Findings Matching surfactant alkyl tail lengths is found ineffective at “pushing out” the carbohydrate headgroups due to a large mismatch in interactions between the headgroups and D2O. However, inserting a novel polar triazole group between the carbohydrate head group and the hydrophobic tail (e.g. in n-octyl-β-D-xylopyranoside) using click chemistry is able to “pull out” the carbohydrate, thus giving accessible sugar moieties at the surface of mixed micelles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-438
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
StatePublished - Feb 15 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.


  • Click chemistry
  • Micellization
  • Mixing
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance
  • Self-assembly
  • Sugar surfactants
  • Supramolecular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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