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Ion Atmosphere of Wormlike Micelles Profiled by Contrast Variation Small-Angle Neutron Scattering...

Publication Type
Journal Name
ACS Macro Letters
Publication Date
Page Numbers
66 to 71

Structural studies of wormlike micelles have so far mostly focused on the conformational properties of surfactant aggregates. The diffuse ionic atmosphere, which has a profound influence on various micellization phenomena such as thermodynamic stability and structural polymorphism, remains largely unexplored experimentally. In this report a strategy of contrast variation small-angle neutron scattering for this crucial structural study is outlined. Underlined by a general criterion established for unbiasedly identifying the length scale relevant to charge association from the spectral evolution, our analytical framework can provide a quantitative description of counterion distribution in a mathematically tractable manner. Our method can be conveniently extended to facilitate structural studies of complex multicomponent systems using contrast variation neutron scattering.