Probing the amphiphile micellar to hexagonal phase transition using Positron Annihilation Lifetime Spectroscopy

Aurelia Dong, Celesta Fong, Anita Hill, Benjamin James Boyd, Calum John Drummond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Positron Annihilation Lifetime Spectroscopy (PALS) has been utilised only sparingly for structural characterisation in self assembled materials. Inconsistencies in approaches to experimental configuration and data analysis between studies has complicated comparisons between studies, meaning that the technique has not provided a cohesive data set across the study of different self assembled systems that advance the technique towards an important tool in soft matter research. In the current work a systematic study was conducted using ionic and non-ionic micellar systems with increasing surfactant concentration to probe positron behaviour on changes between micellar phase structures, and data analysed using contemporary approaches to fit four component spectra. A characteristic orthopositronium lifetime (in the organic regions) of 3.5 +/- 0.2 ns was obtained for the hexagonal phase for surfactants with C-12 alkyl chains. Chemical quenching of the positron species was also observed for systems with ionic amphiphiles. The application of PALS has also highlighted an inconsistency in the published phase diagram for the octa(ethylene oxide) monododecyl ether (C12EO8) system. These results provide new insight into how the physical properties of micellar systems can be related to PALS parameters and means that the PALS technique can be applied to other more complex self-assembled amphiphile systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173 - 179
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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