Growing micelle in liquid

A team of researchers led by Northwestern University have successfully demonstrated the growth of micelle nanoparticles in solution using Hummingbird’s liquid cell platform in TEM. The results have been published in the JACS.


Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society

The mechanism of micelle growth and assembly has been a subject of much investigations. There are several theories explaining the assembly process of micelle in liquid such as unimer insertion, fusion, fission, complete micelle disassembly and reassembly, or nucleation-elongation. The researchers used in-situ liquid cell transmission electron microscopy (LCTEM) to monitor the motion and evolution of individual micelles in real time with nanometer spatial resolution. This liquid platform allowed them to observe the diffusion behavior, fusion events and micelle-micelle interaction in solution. This direct observation of micelle interaction in solution opens up a new avenue to test the evolution of soft matter assemblies in unconstrained liquid medium.

Reference: Lucas R. Parent, Evangelos Bakalis, Abelardo Ramírez-Hernández, Jacquelin K. Kammeyer, Chiwoo Park, Juan de Pablo, Francesco Zerbetto, Joseph P. Patterson, and Nathan C. Gianneschi.”Directly Observing Micelle Fusion and Growth in Solution by Liquid-Cell Transmission Electron Microscopy,” Journal of the American Chemical Society (2017). DOI:10.1021/jacs.7b09060

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