Composition effect on the aggregate/solution interface of a nematic lyotropic liquid crystal†
Lyotropic nematic liquid crystals (lnlc) have attracted attention due to their resemblance to natural membranes and several technological applications. The effect of tetradecyltrimethyl ammonium chloride (TTAC) in the viscosity of a new lnlc containing also decanol, NaCl and natural lipids, was studied. In this article we study how the concentration of phospholipids, decanol and NaCl affects the bilayer and the liquid crystal/solution interface structures. 2H-NMR quadrupole splittings and longitudinal relaxation times of several deuterated species were measured. Polarized light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and kinematic viscosity measurements were also obtained. The structure of the bilayer is dominated by the surface charge density of TTAC. Water rotation, translation and ion solvation depend on the charge and distance from the interface. With increasing TTAC, MD predicts hydrocarbon chain inter-digitation and lipid rafts formation. This was rationalized using energy arguments.