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Segregation of Amine Oxide Surfactants in PVA Films

Fong, Rebecca; Squillace, Ophélie; Reynolds, Carl; Cooper, Joshaniel; Dalgliesh, Robert Malcolm; Tellam, James; Courchay, Florence; Thompson, Richard L.

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Rebecca Fong

Ophélie Squillace

Carl Reynolds

Joshaniel Cooper

Robert Malcolm Dalgliesh

James Tellam

Florence Courchay


The vertical depth distributions of amine oxide surfactants, N,N-dimethyldodecyl amine N-oxide (DDAO) and N,N-dimethyltetradecyl amine N-oxide (DTAO), in poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) films were explored using neutron reflectometry (NR). In both binary and plasticized films, the two deuterated surfactants formed a single monolayer on the film surface with the remaining surfactant homogeneously distributed throughout the bulk of the film. Small-angle neutron scattering and mechanical testing revealed that these surfactants acted like plasticizers in the bulk, occupying the amorphous regions of PVA and reducing its glass-transition temperature. NR revealed little impact of plasticizer (glycerol) incorporation on the behavior of these surfactants in PVA. The surfactant molecular area in the segregated monolayer was smaller for DTAO than for DDAO, indicating that the larger molecule was more densely packed at the surface. Surface tension was used to assess the solution behavior of these surfactants and the effect of glycerol incorporation. Determination of molecular area of each surfactant on the solution surface revealed that the structures of the surface monolayers are remarkably consistent when water is placed by the solid PVA. Incorporation of glycerol caused a decrease of molecular area for DDAO and increase in molecular area for DTAO both in solution and in PVA. This suggests that the head group interactions, which normally limit the minimum area per adsorbed molecule, are modified by the length of the alkyl tail.


Fong, R., Squillace, O., Reynolds, C., Cooper, J., Dalgliesh, R. M., Tellam, J., …Thompson, R. L. (2020). Segregation of Amine Oxide Surfactants in PVA Films. Langmuir, 36(17), 4795-4807.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 30, 2020
Online Publication Date Apr 9, 2020
Publication Date May 5, 2020
Deposit Date Apr 13, 2020
Publicly Available Date May 6, 2020
Journal Langmuir
Print ISSN 0743-7463
Electronic ISSN 1520-5827
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 36
Issue 17
Pages 4795-4807


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Copyright Statement
This is an open access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium,<br /> provided the author and source are cited.

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