Not All Anionic Polyelectrolytes Complex with DTAB†
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The influence of hydroxypropyl guar (HPG), with and without boric acid, on dodecyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (DTAB) micellization was characterized by surface tension measurements, isothermal titration calorimetry, and small-angle neutron scattering. Although HPG is a nonionic water-soluble polymer, borate ions form weak bonds with HPG, transforming it into an anionic polyelectrolyte, HPG-borate. Surprisingly, the three independent measurements showed that HPG-borate does not promote DTAB micellization or phase separation normally seen when mixing oppositely charged polyelectrolytes and surfactants. However, the neutron scattering results suggested that HPG-borate binds to and flocculates existing DTAB micelles. The unusual behavior of HPG-borate with DTAB was underscored by showing that carboxymethyl guar (CMG) formed precipitates with DTAB.
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