Shape fluctuations and water diffusion in microemulsion droplets: A nuclear spin relaxation study

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Water 2H and 17O spin relaxation data for the microemulsion phase in the AOT/D 2O/isooctane system are reported. The difference between the transverse (R 2) and the longitudinal (R 1) relaxation rates has been measured as function of droplet size, droplet volume fraction, temperature, and resonance frequency. The 2H longitudinal relaxation rate dispersion has been measured over an extensive frequency range, using the field-cycling technique. The focus in the study is on the contribution from slow molecular processes to the quadrupolar relaxation behavior. For the first time in any system, the theoretically predicted relation between the 17O/ 2H ratios of quadrupolar line splittings and of R 2 - R 1 is verified. The extensive experimental data are used to discriminate among three different dynamic models. It is found that water diffusion within the microemulsion droplet cannot account for the experimental data. Instead, a substantial shape polydispersity seems to be required, where at any instant a large fraction of the droplets are nonspherical. However, it is not necessary that the equilibrium shape is nonspherical.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physical Chemistry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3287-3299
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1989 Apr 1
Publication categoryResearch