Vibrational sum-frequency spectroscopy investigations of carboxylic acid based surfactants and polymers at the oil-water interface

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Title: Vibrational sum-frequency spectroscopy investigations of carboxylic acid based surfactants and polymers at the oil-water interface
Author: Beaman, Daniel Keith, 1978-
Abstract: Aqueous solutes next to hydrophobic interfaces arc prevalent in a multitude of chemical and biological systems throughout the world. Their presence ranges from environmental processes such as soil and water remediation to biological processes such as ion transport, membrane formation, and enzyme activity. In these and other examples, the interface is an integral part of the system. Understanding these chemically complex systems requires that a molecular level picture be built as a starting basis. In this dissertation, vibrational sum-frequency spectroscopy (VSFS), a surface selective non-linear optical technique, is used to obtain a fundamental understanding of the interfacial properties of carboxylic acid based surfactants and polymers at the oil-water interface. Interfacial studies of the solvating environment around a carboxylate headgroup surfactant are presented first. By utilizing different VSFS polarization schemes, the carboxylate vibrational stretching region was used to monitor the headgroup environment. Results showed the oil-water interface provides a unique environment for adsorption and structuring, and distinct differences exist from the air-water and solid-water interface. With the information gained in the first study, the binding of metal ions to carboxylate headgroups is investigated using VSFS. Mg 2+ , Ca 2+ , Mn 2+ , Ni 2+ , Cu 2+ , and Zn 2+ were used to perturb the headgroup vibrations to further our understanding of the types of interactions and the binding strength between the ion and headgroup. The results show each ion to have a different interaction characteristics with the strongest being bi-dentate in nature and the weakest having ionic character. The final work presented involves moving VSFS studies towards macromolccular assemblies at the oil-water interface to model inherently complex biomolecular systems. These studies present adsorption structure and dynamics of poly(acrylic-acid) as a function of pH, molecular weight, concentration, and the presence of mono and divalent salts. Poly(acrylic-acid) was found to have ordered adsorption characteristics that were highly dependent on the pH and the presence of aqueous salts. This dissertation includes unpublished co-authored materials.
Description: xv, 116 p. : ill. A print copy of this thesis is available through the UO Libraries. Search the library catalog for the location and call number.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/11148
Date: 2010-09


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