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Title: Coupling between the Dynamics of Water and Surfactants in Lyotropic Liquid Crystals

Bilayers composed of lipid or surfactant molecules are central to biological membranes and lamellar lyotropic liquid crystalline (LLC) phases. Common to these systems are phases that exhibit either ordered or disordered packing of the hydrophobic tails. In this work, we study the impact of surfactant ordering, i.e., disordered L α and ordered L β LLC phases, on the dynamics of water and sodium ions in the lamellar phases of dicarboxylate gemini surfactants. We study the different phases at identical hydration levels by changing the length of the hydrophobic tails; surfactants with shorter tails form L α phases and those with longer tails form L β phases. We find that the L α phases exhibit lower density and greater compressibility than the L β phases, with a hydration-dependent headgroup surface area. These structural differences significantly affect the relative dynamic properties of the phases, primarily the mobility of the surfactant molecules tangential to the bilayer surface, as well as the rates of water and ion diffusion. We find ~20–50% faster water diffusion in the L α phases compared to the L β phases, with the differences most pronounced at low hydration. This coupling between water dynamics and surfactant mobility is verified usingmore » additional simulations in which the surfactant tails are frozen. Our study indicates that gemini surfactant LLCs provide an important prototypical system for characterizing properties shared with more complex biological lipid membranes.« less
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States). Dept. of Chemistry
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0010328; TG-CHE090065; CHE-0840494
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Physical Chemistry. B, Condensed Matter, Materials, Surfaces, Interfaces and Biophysical Chemistry
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 121; Journal Issue: 19; Journal ID: ISSN 1520-6106
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); National Science Foundation (NSF)
Contributing Orgs:
Center for High Throughput Computing at the University of Wisconsin and Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: