Aggregation behavior in water of new imidazolium and pyrrolidinium alkycarboxylates protic ionic liquids

Meriem Anouti, Jennifer Jones, Aurélien Boisset, Johan Jacquemin, Magaly Caillon-Caravanier, Daniel Lemordant

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89 Citations (Scopus)
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A novel class of anionic surfactants was prepared through the neutralization of pyrrolidine or imidazole by alkylcarboxylic acids. The compounds, namely the pyrrolidinium alkylcarboxylates ([Pyrr][CnH2n+1COO]) and imidazolium alkylcarboxylates ([Im][CnH2n+1COO]), were obtained as ionic liquids at room temperature. Their aggregation behavior has been examined as a function of the alkyl chain length (from n = 5 to 8) by surface tensiometry and conductivity. Decreases in the critical micelle concentration (cmc) were obtained, for both studied PIL families, when increasing the anionic alkyl chain length (n). Surprisingly, a large effect of the alkyl chain length was observed on the minimum surface area per surfactant molecule (Amin) and, hence the maximum surface excess concentration (Gmax) when the counterion was the pyrrolidinium cation. This unusual comportment has been interpreted in term of a balance between van der Waals and coulombic interactions. Conductimetric measurements permit determination of the degree of ionization of the micelle (a) and the molar conductivity (?M) of these surfactants as a function of n. The molar conductivities at infinite dilution in water (?8) of the [Pyrr]+ and [Im]+ cations have been then determined by using the classical Kohlraush equation. Observed change in the physicochemical, surface, and micellar properties of these new protonic ionic liquid surfactants can be linked to the nature of the cation. By comparison with classical anionic surfactants having inorganic counterions, pyrrolidinium alkylcarboxylates and imidazolium alkylcarboxylates exhibit a higher ability to aggregate in aqueous solution, demonstrating their potential applicability as surfactant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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