New Class of Amphiphiles Designed for Use in Water-in-Supercritical CO2 Microemulsions

Masanobu Sagisaka*, Shunsuke Ogiwara, Shinji Ono, Craig James, Atsushi Yoshizawa, Azmi Mohamed, Sarah E. Rogers, Richard K. Heenan, Ci Yan, Jocelyn Alice Peach, Julian Eastoe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
181 Downloads (Pure)


Water-in-supercritical CO2 microemulsions formed using the hybrid F-H surfactant sodium 1-oxo-1-[4-(perfluorohexyl)phenyl]hexane-2-sulfonate, FC6-HC4, have recently been shown to have the highest water-solubilizing power ever reported. FC6-HC4 demonstrated the ability to outperform not only other surfactants but also other FCm-HCn analogues containing different fluorocarbon and hydrocarbon chain lengths (Sagisaka, M. et al. Langmuir 2015, 31, 7479-7487). With the aim of clarifying the key structural features of this surfactant, this study examined the phase behavior and water/supercritical CO2 aggregate formation of 1-oxo-1-[4-(perfluorohexyl)phenyl]hexane (Nohead FC6-HC4), which is an FC6-HC4 analogue but now, interestingly, without the sulfonate headgroup. Surprisingly, Nohead FC6-HC4, which would not normally be identified as a classic surfactant, yielded transparent single-phase W/CO2 microemulsions with polar cores able to solubilize a water-soluble dye, even at pressures and temperatures so low as to approach the critical point of CO2 (e.g., ∼100 bar at 35 °C). High-pressure small-angle scattering (SANS) measurements revealed the transparent phases to consist of ellipsoidal nanodroplets of water. The morphology of these droplets was shown to be dependent on the pressure, Nohead FC6-HC4 concentration, and water-to-surfactant molar ratio. Despite having almost the same structure as Nohead FC6-HC4, analogues containing both shorter and longer hydrocarbons were unable to form W/CO2 microemulsion droplets. This shows the importance of the role of the hydrocarbon chain in the stabilization of W/CO2 microemulsions. A detailed examination of the mechanism of Nohead FC6-HC4 adsorption onto the water surface suggests that the hexanoyl group protrudes into the aqueous core, allowing for association between the carbonyl group and water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12413-12422
Number of pages10
Issue number47
Early online date22 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2016

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