The aggregation of an alkyl-C60 derivative as a function of concentration, temperature and solvent type

Martin J. Hollamby*, Catherine F. Smith, Melanie M. Britton, Ashleigh E. Danks, Zoe Schnepp, Isabelle Grillo, Brian R. Pauw, Akihiro Kishimura, Takashi Nakanishi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
147 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Contrast-variation small-angle neutron scattering (CV-SANS), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements of diffusion and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) are used to gain insight into the aggregation of an alkyl-C60 derivative, molecule 1, in n-hexane, n-decane and toluene as a function of concentration and temperature. Results point to an associative mechanism of aggregation similar to other commonly associating molecules, including non-ionic surfactants or asphaltenes in non-aqueous solvents. Little aggregation is detected in toluene, but small micelle-like structures form in n-alkane solvents, which have a C60-rich core and alkyl-rich shell. The greatest aggregation extent is found in n-hexane, and at 0.1 M the micelles of 1 comprise around 6 molecules at 25 °C. These micelles become smaller when the concentration is lowered, or if the solvent is changed to n-decane. The solution structure is also affected by temperature, with a slightly larger aggregation extent at 10 °C than at 25 °C. At higher concentrations, for example in solutions of 1 above 0.3 M in n-decane, a bicontinuous network becomes apparent. Overall, these findings aid our understanding of the factors driving the assembly of alkyl-π-conjugated hydrophobic amphiphiles such as 1 in solution and thereby represent a step towards the ultimate goal of exploiting this phenomenon to form materials with well-defined order.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3373-3380
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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