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Unexpected monolayer-to-bilayer transition of arylazopyrazole surfactants facilitates superior photo-control of fluid interfaces and colloids.

ABSTRACT: Interfaces that can change their chemistry on demand have huge potential for applications and are prerequisites for responsive or adaptive materials. We report on the performance of a newly designed n-butyl-arylazopyrazole butyl sulfonate (butyl-AAP-C4S) surfactant that can change its structure at the air-water interface by E/Z photo-isomerization in an unprecedented way. Large and reversible changes in surface tension (?? = 27 mN m-1) and surface excess (?? > 2.9 ?mol m-2) demonstrate superior performance of the butyl-AAP-C4S amphiphile to that of existing ionic surfactants. Neutron reflectometry and vibrational sum-frequency generation spectroscopy reveal that these large changes are caused by an unexpected monolayer-to-bilayer transition. This exceptional behavior is further shown to have dramatic consequences at larger length scales as highlighted by applications like the light-triggered collapse of aqueous foam which is tuned from high (>1 h) to low (<10 min) stabilities and light-actuated particle motion via Marangoni flows.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7059314 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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