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Issue 39, 2017
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Small-angle neutron scattering study of a dense microemulsion system formed with an ionic liquid

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Abstract

Mixtures of water, octane and 1-octanol with 1-tetradecyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride (C14MIM·Cl), often referred to as a surface active ionic liquid (SAIL), form water-in-oil microemulsions that have potential application as extraction media for various metal ions. Here, we present a structural study by small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) of dense microemulsions formed by surfactant-rich mixtures of these four compounds to understand how the SAIL can be used to tune the structures and properties of the microemulsions. The SANS experiments revealed that the microemulsions formed are composed of two phases, a water-in-oil microemulsion and a bicontinuous microemulsion, which becomes the dominant phase at high surfactant concentration. In this concentration regime, the surfactant film becomes more rigid, having a higher bending modulus that results from the parallel stacking of the imidazolium ring of the SAIL. At lower surfactant concentrations, the molecular packing of the SAIL does not change with the water content of the microemulsion. The results presented here correlate well with previously observed changes in the interaction between the IL cation and metal ions (Y. Tong, L. Han and Y. Yang, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2012, 51, 16438–16443), while the capacity of the microemulsion system for water remains high enough for using the system as an extraction medium.

Graphical abstract: Small-angle neutron scattering study of a dense microemulsion system formed with an ionic liquid

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Jul 2017, accepted on 07 Sep 2017 and first published on 07 Sep 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01516J
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017,13, 7154-7160
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    Small-angle neutron scattering study of a dense microemulsion system formed with an ionic liquid

    T. Kang, S. Qian, G. S. Smith, C. Do and W. T. Heller, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 7154
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01516J

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